MET Museum to charge a fee, changing 50-year admissions policy

NEW YORK — New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art is partially abandoning its “pay-what-you-wish” admissions policy that has made it an egalitarian destination for generations of art lovers.

Starting March 1, the museum will charge a mandatory $25 entrance fee to most adult visitors who don’t live in New York state.

Locals will be required to show identification to prove their address, the New York Times reports.

Museum President and CEO Daniel Weiss announced the change Thursday.

Weiss says the extra money will help balance the Met’s $305 million annual operating budget.

Entrance will remain free for all children under 12 and pay-as-you-wish for students up to graduate school in New York and surrounding New Jersey and Connecticut.

The $25 fee will allow visitors to enter the Met over three consecutive days, instead of just one, according to the policy.

The fee is a change to the museum’s policy of 50 years, and comes as the number of people paying the full suggested donation amount sharply declined from 63 to 17 percent as attendance jumped from 4.7 to 7 million visitors in 13 years, the Times reports.