The Real Deal New York

Met gets new lease, can now charge admission

Mayor Bloomberg championed new agreement, which could make entrance fee $25 or more
October 25, 2013 09:37AM

The Metropolitan Museum of Art has signed a new lease agreement with the city that allows the museum to charge admission. The change to the lease comes in the wake of lawsuits that accused the Met of duping visitors into believing they had to pay to enter the museum, which technically only suggested a “donation.”

The amended lease states that the museum can “set the terms of admission to its permanent galleries to the general public” with the consent of the commissioner of the city’s Department of Cultural Affairs, the New York Daily News reported.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg pushed the Met to sign the amended lease, the museum said to a Manhattan judge on Thursday, according to the News.

But Michael Hiller, a lawyer who had filed one of the lawsuits against the Met claiming it tricked visitors, told the newspaper that the new lease was “nothing but a desperate stunt by the museum to defeat claims its lawyers must know are valid.”

“It won’t sell politically. It won’t pass muster legally, and if anything, [it] merely reinforces the fact the museum has been violating the lease for the last 43 years and that it must stop,” Hiller said.

Leases for the American Museum of Natural History and the Museum of the City of New York were similarly amended, city officials told the Daily News. [NYDN] — Hiten Samtani

  • Ralk

    What a scummy move by Bloomy.

  • Snow

    Last time I went to the met I was disgusted that they would only give brochures to members and said they send them in the mail and don’t give any on site. I frequent museums in NYC and find this one to be the rudest to guest even with things like needing to charge your phone to trying to get a brochure. And it’s expensive.

  • Fuck that scumbag Bloomberg.

  • MEG

    I am a native New Yorker who has enjoyed the Met for more than 50 years on a “pay as I can afford” basis. I have visited there as a student, working professional, mom, and unemployed worker. I understand the cost of supporting such an institution, but a $25 admission fee is well beyond the scope of most families in this city. What a sad day it will be when we and our children are denied access to one of the world’s finest and awe-inspiring art collections – located in our backyard – because of a political maneuver that insults the hardworking, taxpaying citizens of NYC..