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City Amends Fee Policy for a Visit to the Met

Thursday, December 12, 2013   (0 Comments)

New York Times (10/24/13) Kennedy, Randy

New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg amended the city's lease with the Metropolitan Museum of Art clarifying that the Met can charge a recommended admission fee and fees for special exhibitions. Two recent lawsuits brought the four-decade-old question of whether the Met, which occupies city-owned land, has the legal authority to charge admission to a head. The pending lawsuits charge the museum of fraud, alleging that it illegally charged patrons. The Met claims that a 1970 agreement with the city gives it authority to charge an entrance fee, although the agreement was not included in the museum's lease. The amended lease allows the museum to "set the terms of admission to its permanent galleries to the general public, including admission fees." The amendment also allows the museum to make the fee mandatory, and to charge extra for special exhibits. "We have no plans to institute either of the above, and no plans to make plans,” says the museum's Harold Holzer. The Met recently expanded its hours and is committed to increasing public access. It is unclear how the amended lease will affect the pending lawsuits. The city has also amended the leases of other museums on its land including the American Museum of Natural History and the Museum of the City of New York.


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