NEW YORK (AFP) – New York’s famed Metropolitan Museum of Art, one of the biggest museums in the world, announced Friday it had settled a long-running lawsuit challenging its admissions policy of charging up to $25.
The Met will next month change “recommended” to “suggested” on signs requesting a $25 entrance fee for adults, $17 for seniors and $12 for students.
The agreement, which needs to be approved in court, brings to an end a three-year lawsuit that first disputed the museum’s right to charge visitors and then quibbled its semantics.
The suit argued that visitors thought they had to pay $25, when in fact they could pay whatever they wanted.
The changes are being made to coincide with the March 18 opening of The Met Breuer, the museum’s third location on Madison Avenue that will be dedicated to modern and contemporary art.
All three sites, including the main location on Fifth Avenue and the Cloisters, will adhere to the same “pay what you wish” policy.
Admission at any one location gives visitors access to all three venues in the same day.
“All of our recent branding and marketing work has been aimed at simplifying our message of welcome to the public and emphasizing that we are accessible to the widest possible audience,” said museum director Thomas Campbell.
“The new admission signs will represent another step in this effort,” he added.
The non-profit museum says admissions contribute to operations and is “critical” to its success. The Met is New York’s most visited museum, welcoming 6.3 million people last year.