The Met’s Temple of Dendur. Source: The Metropolitan Museum of Art.
Charlotte Burns Met can charge admission, judge rules—even if it’s just a penny, The Art Newspaper, 9 February 2015
The Metropolitan Museum can charge visitors for admission, New York’s Supreme Court decided last week.
Two separate lawsuits had been brought against the museum challenging its policy of charging a $25 “recommended” entrance fee, based on the Met’s original 1876 lease and a subsequent state law that provided city land and funds to establish the museum in return for free admission to the public during most of the week.
Before a new agreement with the city was reached in 1970, the museum was open for free on certain days and times. Today, visitors can pay as little as one cent, “but they must pay something”, according to the court papers. The plaintiffs argued that the museum is misleading the public into paying and sought a permanent injunction to enforce free admission.
In both cases, the plaintiffs argued that they had bought tickets at times and on days that ought to have been free. They claimed that the policy of paid admission “violates both certain legislation and the lease by which [the museum] occupies its home in Central Park”.
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