Judge backs Metropolitan Museum of Art's suggested admission pol

Judge backs Metropolitan Museum of Art's suggested admission policy

Posted: Updated:
Metropolitan Museum of Art Metropolitan Museum of Art

DEEPTI HAJELA | AP

NEW YORK (AP) — A New York judge has dismissed claims by museum goers suing the Metropolitan Museum of Art that the Met doesn't have legal authority to charge admission fees but their lawsuits will go forward on allegations that the Met has been deceptive in how it asks for fees.

State Supreme Court Judge Shirley Werner Kornreich released the ruling Wednesday, which dismissed parts of two lawsuits.

In dismissing the allegation that the Met has violated its 1893 lease with the city, which required admission without fees, the judge said the city has approved the Met's admission fee decisions since the fees have gone into effect more than 40 years ago. She said the plaintiffs didn't have standing as private citizens to sue the museum on grounds of a lease violation.

"For those without means, or those who do not wish to express their gratitude financially, a de minimis contribution of a penny is accepted," the judge said. "Admission to the Met is de facto free for all."

She went on to say that forcing the museum to not charge anything and lose revenue "would put the museum's ability to provide the current level of access in jeopardy."

Museum officials said in a statement that they were "delighted" with the ruling and believe it validates the Met's "pay-what-you-wish admissions policy."

Arnold M. Weiss, an attorney for plaintiffs in both lawsuits, said they would appeal the judge's decision. But going forward on the claim that the museum has defrauded the public into thinking the fees are required, "on that portion of the case, we feel very good," he said.

The city Department of Cultural Affairs agreed in 1970 that the museum could charge a general admission as long as the amount was left up to visitors and museum signs reflected that the amounts were discretionary.

The suits say the museum signage states adult admission is $25 and has an addendum printed underneath that the amount is "recommended."

The museum last week said it has signed an amendment to its lease with the city that codifies the museum's authority to set admission fees and gives the Met the ability to consider price changes as needed.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

  • Manhattan NewsManhattan NewsMore>>

  • Camilla's brother dies in New York after head injury

    Camilla's brother dies in New York after head injury

    Wednesday, April 23 2014 3:10 PM EDT2014-04-23 19:10:58 GMT
    The brother of Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, has died after sustaining a serious head injury following a fall in New York, British royal officials said Wednesday. Clarence House said that the 62-year-old Mark Shand died in the hospital Wednesday after falling late Tuesday.
    The brother of Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, has died after sustaining a serious head injury following a fall in New York, British royal officials said Wednesday. Clarence House said that the 62-year-old Mark Shand died in the hospital Wednesday after falling late Tuesday.
  • Toddler falls from 3-story window, not hurt

    Toddler falls from 3-story window, not hurt

    Wednesday, April 23 2014 2:04 PM EDT2014-04-23 18:04:22 GMT
    New York City police say a 2-year-old boy fell out of a third-story window overnight but was not hurt.
    New York City police say a 2-year-old boy fell out of a third-story window overnight but was not hurt.
  • Spy device Tweets private conversations

    Spy device Tweets private conversations

    Wednesday, April 23 2014 12:41 PM EDT2014-04-23 16:41:49 GMT
    A tiny new spy device aims to automatically transcribe and Tweet overheard conversations. It's called Conversnitch.  Brian House and Kyle McDonald are behind the eavesdropping device.  They say it bridges the gap between (presumed) private physical space and public space online.
    A tiny new spy device aims to automatically transcribe and Tweet overheard conversations. It's called Conversnitch.  Brian House and Kyle McDonald are behind the eavesdropping device.  They say it bridges the gap between (presumed) private physical space and public space online.
Powered by WorldNow
Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Ad Choices