It turns out the Metropolitan Museum of Art's not the only city establishment getting called out for shaking down donations: apparently, the "free" 9/11 Memorial has been soliciting visitors for cash, too. The memorial has a listed suggested donation at $5 to $10, but the Post says that memorial workers are pressuring people to pay.
News that the museum would be charging a hefty admission fee—$20-$25, to be exact—outraged a number of New Yorkers who lost family members on that day. But the outdoor memorial was supposed to be free, aside from a questionable $2 fee for online reservations, and the Post reports that on a recent visit to the site, workers were pushing them to fork over donations. "They will embarrass you in front of everybody on line behind you if you don’t come up with any money," Bob Porch, who helped recover survivors at the site in the wake of 9/11, said. "My head almost fell off when I heard the guy say ‘Two? That’ll be $10.’" Others have reported getting letters from the foundation behind the Memorial soliciting further donations.
It's been previously reported that the whole operation—museum and memorial—will cost about $60 million a year to run, which might explain some of the donation pressure. Then again, the foundation behind the museum is apparently pulling in a pretty hefty payroll ($10.3 million, to be exact), which explains a lot of the anger. "None of the 9/11 family members that I have worked with ever wanted a billion-dollar money pit," Sally Regenhard, whose son died on 9/11, wrote in a Daily News op-ed earlier this month. "All we hoped for was a simple, uplifting, honorable and patriotic memorial for all who were lost that terrible September day."