The Metropolitan Museum

The Metropolitan Museum - 20 bucks, please...



The Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao

The Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao - €12




The British Museum

The British Museum: one of the world's greatest museums has still an "admission free" politic


Because Art is free... but not at the Museums. This article discuss the rise of Museum's admission fees around the world

One of the most publicized ideas by all the Ministries of Culture, Museum Patronages and similar is to approach the Art to the great public. Nevertheless, and contrary to this intention, most of the greatest Museums of the world have increased in the last years its admission fees in a notorious -and in many cases exaggerated- way.

This infamous tendency is international. In the United States, the controversy has been intensified with the decision of the Metropolitan Museum of Art of New York about increasing from $15 to $20 the money that the museum "suggests" its visitors to donate before enjoying its collections (the New York Times recently published the misfortune of one of its journalists who had the occurrence of offering 50 pennies), identical sum that the one demanded by the MOMA to see the more important collection of Modern Art in the world. Now add the $15 necessary to enter in the Guggenheim, and you'll obtain the total sum that a tourist who wanted to see the typical three New York Museums (Metropolitan Museum- Museum of Modern Art - Guggenheim Museum) will have to disburse: a huge $55.

In Europe, where the museums are traditionally more accessible, this ascent of prices has -nevertheless- reached tragic levels.

In Spain, the two greatest State Museums (Prado Museum and Reina Sofía Art Centre) had doubled its admission fees early this year, and now every visitor must pay €6 (add another €6 if you want to enter the Thyssen Museum, which is highly recomendable). Precursor of this madness was the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, which doubled in 2004 its admission fee of €6, which now is of €12.

In France things are a bit more moderate, and the increases of admission fees are made in a small percentage every few years, which can be justified by the increase of the standard of living. At the present time, the ticket to the Louvre, surely the most famous and visited museum of the planet, costs €8,50, being reduced if it is visited only at afternoon.

From Italy spectacular rises are still to come: the government announced last year that the costs of the tickets to its main monuments and cultural centres could increase "to improve the safety measures".

But, luckily, we still have the example of the United Kingdom: two of the best museums of the world - British Museum and National Gallery of London- still have an "admission free" politic. God save the Queen

Published october 2006

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