The $25 fee may soon go from suggested to mandatory for tourists.
Over the past four decades, the museum famously has had a suggested admission — now at $25 — which many visitors do not pay. Revenue from admissions only provides 13 percent of the museum’s yearly income.
However the museum now has a $15-million deficit which it is trying to close. Last week, Mayor Bill de Blasio spoke in support of a required admission fee for visitors coming from outside of New York City.
“I’m a big fan of Russian oligarchs paying more to get into the Met,” he said at a press conference.
The plan is still in development and working on a proposal with the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs. “The Met is one of our most beloved, historic New York cultural institutions, and we are ready to work with them to make sure they have the resources they need to thrive," mayoral spokesman Ben Sarle said in a statement.
And amidst accusations that the Met was mismanaged under former director Thomas P. Campbell, some are questioning the validity of a required admission fee. Locals would still be able to get into the museum with a suggested admission, although there are still some questions about how the museum would establish residency for visitors. There is no timeline for if or when out-of-town tourists would have to start paying.
The Met is considered a public museum. In an 1893 law, the Met agreed that their collections “shall be kept open and accessible to the public free of all charge throughout the year” in exchange for state funding.