The financial problems that have led the museum to halt its planned $600 million expansion may lead to another big change: mandatory admission fees. - From Curbed NY
The financial problems that have led the Metropolitan Museum of Art to halt its planned $600 million expansion may lead to another big change for the iconic institution: According to the New York Times, the museum is now considering a mandatory admission fee, to be applied to non-New York residents.
But with a huge budget deficit and intense scrutiny on the institution’s operational woes, museum officials are looking at every option that might help close the gap—including charging visitors.
But there are a few potential issues with a fee model for the Met, including—but not limited to—the fact that the city mandates that the Met “shall be kept open and accessible to the public free of all charge throughout the year,” according to an 1893 statute establishing funding for the museum.
The museum began its suggested admission policy in the 1970s, but in theory, it remains free for those who choose not to pay.
(This led the museum to change its signs last year in order to clarify its pricing structure.) David Weiss, the Met’s president, told the Times that the institution is “looking at everything to bridge our budget deficit, including the pricing structure we have with the city, which is something we have done throughout our history.” And the city appears willing to discuss the proposal; Ben Sarle, from Mayor de Blasio’s office, told the Times that “The Met is one of our most beloved, historic New York cultural institutions, and we are ready to work with them to make sure they have the resources they need to thrive.”