The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York city will partially abandon its decades long pay-as-you-wish admission policy, making it inaccessible to low-income art lovers and museum-goers.
Beginning from March 1, the museum will continue offering the pay-as-you-wish admission policy to residents of New York State but charge adults who live outside the state an entrance fee of 25 U.S. dollars.
All children under 12 will continue to be admitted for free. Admission for students from New York, New Jersey and Connecticut will continue to be pay-as-you-wish. Students living outside the tri-state region will be charged 12 U.S. dollars and seniors outside New York will have to pay 17 dollars.
The new policy would also honor full-priced admissions tickets for three consecutive days, giving visitors more time to experience the Met’s three locations.
The museum anticipates that the mandatory admissions component will affect approximately 31 percent of annual visitors.
Daniel Weiss, the Met’s president and CEO, said in a statement the paid admissions represent only 14 percent of the overall revenue, one of the lowest percentages among the New York City peers.
An admission fee of 25 dollars will be in line with other New York museums, such as the Museum of Modern Art and the Guggenheim Museum, both charge 25 U.S. dollars for entrance.
Many people welcomed the policy, saying with higher admission revenue the museum would be able to continue offering high-standard exhibitions.
Others opposed it strongly as many low-income visitors would be denied access.