A somber visit to New York City's planned Sept. 11 museum will also be an expensive one. The board of the National 9/11 Memorial and Museum yesterday voted to charge adults a $24 admission. That places it among the city's priciest museums (the Guggenheim is at $22, MoMA at $25), and the New York Daily News points out that unlike places like the Metropolitan Museum of Art, it's not a suggested donation, but a required fee. Memorial president Joe Daniels cited the lack of government funding to pay for operational costs. "A Museum admissions [charge] will also ensure the Memorial, which has had more than 11.5 million visitors since opening two years ago, will be free," as it currently is.
The AP reports that the museum is scheduled to open this spring; the total annual cost of operating the museum and memorial is estimated at $63 million. Families of Sept. 11 victims won't be charged, and there will be a three-hour free window each week. Philip Kennicott at the Washington Post writes that the price tag "just doesn’t feel right," and worries that the museum will feel pressure to be entertaining to justify it. He predicts that many people looking to pay their respects will skip the museum and do so at the free memorial. (Read the intriguing story of one of the items being prepped for inclusion in the museum, the "Angel of 9/11.")