Museums shouldn't be free. Here's why.
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After New York’s Met recently announced its change to entrance fees – making the $25 charge required instead of suggested – it has raised the question should museums be free of charge to the public. The Met museum in New York, which will soon charge tourists a $25 entrance fee In an ideal world the answer would be yes, keep museums free for all. However, that is impractical and potentially not sustainable for museums. With funding decreasing every year, and many patrons not paying a suggested fee or even donating after their visit, museums are struggling to find funds to keep their exhibits running. Currently, the national museums in London remain free to the public and have been since April 2001. There are currently 50 free museums across the UK. Whilst that is wonderful for us, the public who want to see what these museums have to offer and teach us, it’s not always the best for the museums themselves who have been facing increasing hardships in terms of funding. In 2017 the Museum Association conducted a survey investing how funding cuts are affecting museums. The survey states that “many publicly-funded museums are facing a funding crisis. English museums have suffered a 31% real-terms cut in local authority funding since 2010.” The survey further went on to say that “almost half of all museums report a year-on-year increase in visitor numbers”. Arguably, the free admission makes museums more attractive to the public – after all it is a free day out. For families it is an easy and educational day out for children and for tourists it makes their trip that little bit cheaper.
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