New York City, among its many attractions, contains some of the most well-known and respected museums. Among those museums, the Metropolitan Museum of Art is one the best.
For years, while the suggested entry fee has been $25.00 , though it is not mandatory. A visitor could pay $1.00 and have the same experience as another visitor who pays the full $25.00.
As of March 1st of this year, that fee is going to change.
I get it, they have bills and employees to pay, buildings to maintain, etc. I also have a feeling that they receive some money from local and state taxes, therefore allowing New York State residents to keep paying what they wish.
But, I also have a sneaking suspicion that the mandatory fee for everyone else is going to bite them in the proverbial behind. Consider it this way: a family of four is in New York on vacation (they are not from New York State) and plans to include the Met as one of the places they would like visit. Let’s say that their children are over the age of 12, which means just to get into the museum, they are paying $74.00. Then of course, there is really no place to eat outside of the museum, so they go down to the cafeteria. And just to add the cherry on top, visiting the gift shop is a must. That means that this family of four could end paying around $150, just for this one museum.
Now granted, the Met is quite expansive, one could really spend an entire day there if one wishes. There are three satellite locations and as of March 1st, admission is still valid for three consecutive days to visit any of those other sites.
Museums used to be for the wealthy elite who had time on the hands. Thankfully, the museum has become a symbol of education and culture for everyone, it didn’t matter if you earned six figures or you earned a minimum wage salary. The suggested entry fee allowed anyone, regardless of what they can afford, to learn about history and art and culture in new and exciting ways. My fear is that this change in admission fee will return the museum to days when museums belongs to the elite and not to everyone.