Wednesday, May 10, 2017

1794 The Great Museum Robbery

The Metropolitan Museum of Art wants to force non-residents to pay admission now technically free, but they shame you into paying anyway. Photo by Francis Xavier “Frankie” Lopez taken between customers at his pretzel wagon on 5th avenue.


This is unacceptable.  The Metropolitan Museum of Art wants to charge admission to out of staters.  It’s like voter i.d. And Broadway show prices in one mighty ball of crazy.


You can almost hear it:


“You, you over there.  Yeah, you, lady with the Big Hair.  You must be from New Jersey.  Pay up or go somewhere else.  Same with you, Patel! You’re not fooling anyone. No REAL New York man would dress in a dress.


Some background:  The Metropolitan Museum, one of the top educational tourist traps in all of America wants to charge admission to “foreigners,” i.e. anyone who can’t prove he lives in New York.


A law establishing the museum in the 1800s says admission must be free to all.  Museum policy is to “recommend” $25 a head admission. It’s right there on the elegant little floor sign.  Right under the part that says “but you can pay what you want” or not at all.


Now, with Old Man Deficit nipping at their Manolo Blancos and Magnanni heels, the airborne noses want to mandate fees.


You can almost hear it:


“You, yeah, you, kid, wearing the ten dollar special from Pay-Less:  go back where you belong.”


They already shame you or fool you into believing you must fork over something.  Rembrandt isn’t for everyone, you know. Money for Monet. Vigorish for Van Gogh.


All those geniuses who run the place or sit on the Board of Snobs can’t figure out how to raise some money?


You can almost hear it:


“I know.  We’ll get the guys from Ohio and Beijing to make up our losses.  Those rubes are too dumb to know what we’re up to.  Besides, they just want to come here to tell the home folks they came here. And they can still do that if they hang out in the lobby.”


Now, there’s a real problem about who can get in.  If you’re from Tonawanda you pass. Or from Syracuse or Buffalo or the Bronx.


Oh, wait. No one from the Bronx has visited the Met since 1948.  And the only New York City types who ever go there mistakenly believe their on line for tickets to the Planetarium.


Legislation for this stickup is winding its way through the rats nests, mazes and halls of funhouse mirrors that run New York City’s courts, councils, community boards and borough halls. Eventually it will land on the Mayor’s desk.


But isn’t the museum private?  No. The collections are private.  The building belongs to the city.


TODAY’S QUOTE:
-“Last time I payed $25 to see a picture at an exhibition, the FBI came and took my computer. Now I have to hire a lawyer.  Where is Boris Gudunov when you need him?” -- Modest Petrovich Mussorgsky.


I’m Wes Richards. My opinions are my own but you’re welcome to them. ®
Please address comments to wesrichards@gmail.com
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© WJR 2017


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