Metropolitan Museum Signs New Lease With the City to Quell Ticket Price Complaints

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After receiving some flack (and lawsuits) from angry tourists regarding its admission policies over the past year, the Metropolitan Museum of Art has signed an amendment to its 1878 lease at the request of the city. The amendment not only confirms the existence of the 1971 policy whereby the city agreed that visitors to the museum must pay something, though they may choose the sum themselves, but also states that the museum has the authority to change the ranges of admissions without the city’s approval — which was previously required.

“The continued generosity of our visitors under pay-what-you-wish remains crucial to our ability to build and maintain the Met’s encyclopedic collections and magnificent galleries, and to present special exhibitions and public programs at no additional cost to visitors who enter the building,” Met director and CEO Thomas Campbell said in a statement. “When the policy was first introduced, the Met was a 750,000-foot-square museum attracting a million visitors a year. The building is now more than twice the size and commensurately more expensive to maintain and secure for its more than six million annual visitors.”

In accordance with the terms of the lease, and with consent from the commissioner of the City of New York’s Department of Cultural Affairs, the city “shall consider the fiscal needs of the Museum in light of the Museum’s commitment to serving the public.”

— Meredith Caraher

(Photo via Metropolitan Museum/Facebook.)