The Metropolitan Museum of Art has agreed to advertise their pay-as-you-wish entry price as "suggested" admission instead of "recommended," as part of a lengthy legal ordeal over the policy.
Visitors to the Met can pay whatever they want to get in, as part of an 1893 law that offered the museum state funds in exchange for free admission. Since then, the Met's been granted the ability to charge suggested admission to cover costs, but that ticket price doesn't come close to the $25 amount that's currently "recommended." "For those without means, or those who do not wish to express their gratitude financially, a de minimis contribution of a penny is accepted," a judge wrote in 1971. "Admission to the Met is de facto free for all."
Critics have argued, however, that the "recommended" $25 price is misleading, and they've been sued several times over the wording of their admissions signs. This week, the museum reached a settlement on that issue, and they will revert to charging "suggested" admission instead.
"If some people think suggested is more clear than recommended then that’s all to the good,” Daniel Weiss, the museum’s president, told the Times. "Our goal is for people to understand that what we do and what we contribute is enormously expensive...Excellence costs money."
The new signs will be on display next month.