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>> There are starving artists, and there are starving art museums. And for a while now, New York's Metropolitan Museum of Art has appeared a bit like the latter, struggling through some turbulent financial times. Which is why on Thursday it proposed a new admissions policy. Out of town visitors must pay a mandatory entrance fee of $25 for adults, and $12 for students.
The move is a sharp departure for the institution's long standing front door request for suggested donations of the same amount. New Yorkers, on the other hand, will still have the benefit of paying what they want, so long as it's a penny or more. And the same benefits will apply to students from neighboring Connecticut and New Jersey.
The new admission policy which begins March 1st will effect about 31% of the roughly 7 million people visiting the museum every year. The museum says the extra $5 to $11 million in estimated profit will be a modest boost towards covering it's annual operating budget of about $305 million.