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New York's Met museum to charge visitors for the first time in 50 years

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New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art will soon charge tourists a mandatory fee for the first time in 50 years.

Before this, visitors were recommended to donate a certain figure but it was not required for entrence to the museum. 

The Met has one of the largest art collections in the world. It is currently home to two million works  from Greek to Byzantine galleries, and from artists such as Rembrandt to Van Gogh.

Residents and students of New York, Connecticut, and New Jersey will still continue to donate an amount of their choice, but other tourists will have to pay an entry fee of £18 ($25). This cost will allow each guest entrance into its other venues – the Met Breur and the Cloisters – for three days after payment.

The charge will come into effect on March 1st and it is hoped it will help maintain the operating costs of the art museum. It is estimated that it will create an extra £8.1 million ($11 million) in revenue to help the annual operation cost of £225 million ($305 million). 

In recent years more visitors have chosen not to pay the full suggested donation fee, which was $25 for adults, $17 for seniors, and $12 for students.

The president of the museum, Daniel Weiss said: “In 2004, 63 per cent of those who came paid the full recommended price.”

“In 2017, that is 17 per cent. Effectively the policy is failing.”

When the museum was established in 1870, it was founded under the notion that the museum be free for most days. In 1970, a ‘pay-as-you-wish’ system was established. 

In 2013 the museum was criticised for misleading the public into believing the recommended donation was infact required by listing ‘recommended’ in smaller print below the prices. 

The Met was the fifth most visited museum in the world in 2016, and was the second most visited art museum after The Louvre in Paris. It is the largest art museum in the United States.

Compared to other museums, the Met will be expensive to visit, with The Louvre in Paris charging £13 (€15) whereas the National Gallery in London is free for visitors will charges applying to certain exhibitions.

 

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