The Met Reportedly Might Begin Charging Tourists Admission

A consistent revenue stream could help the museum immensely, since it's running a deficit in the millions.

How the fee would be enforced is up for debate-as the Times puts it, "What about people who commute every day into the city for work and consider themselves New Yorkers?" Though the Met famously boasts a "suggested admission" thanks to an agreement with the city, the Times reports museum officials are trying to get the city to alter that deal to close the gap on the approximately $15 million deficit.

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. There has to be a formal proposal process between the Met and the city. Amid cost-cutting measures including staff layoffs and buyouts, reduced exhibitions programming, and shelved plans for a new modern and contemporary wing, the museum's director Thomas P. Campbell was pressured into resigning - exposing other complaints against him that go beyond mismanagement.

Mayor Bill de Blasio, meanwhile, expressed outright support for the idea at an unrelated press conference yesterday.

Since 1971, it has charged visitors what it calls a "suggested" fee, now US$25 (S$35), though many visitors opt to pay less. It received US$27 million in support from New York City past year.

The museum's admissions policy is one component of many that are "continuously under review and refinement", a Met spokeswoman told DNAinfo New York.

Other museums with pay-as-you-wish ticketing include the American Museum of Natural History, the Brooklyn Museum, MoMA PS1, and the Museum of the City of NY.

  • Salvatore Jensen