Monday, January 14, 2008

To Be Free or Not To Be Free

Well, in the great age-old debate of whether or not museums should be free, there appear to be two more arguments in favor. According to the New York Times, attendance at "Sweden’s national museums dropped nearly 20 percent last year after they ended their free admissions policy." Meanwhile France will begin experimenting with free admission at 18 national museums in order to attract more young people and foreign visitors.

Make that three votes for free admissions. Although they have had to work to find alternatives to the revenue once generated by admission fees, directors of some of the largest and most notable museums in Britain wrote in favor of their nation's free admission policy enacted a few years ago, stating that

Visits to former charging museums have increased by 87% and have attracted more diverse audiences. An extra 16 million children have visited museums since they were granted free entry in 1998, and the number of visits from people from lower socio-economic groups has risen to 6.5 million in 2004-05.

Of course, in Britain the admissions repeal was accompanied by additional government funding for the museums.

No comments: