by Karen Matthews, The Associated Press, February 29, 2016
NEW YORK (AP) — The pay-what-you-like policy at New York's Metropolitan Museum of Art will be spelled out more clearly under a settlement of a class-action lawsuit that challenged the museum's $25 "recommended" admission.
Under the settlement reached Friday, the $25 ticket price will be "suggested" instead of "recommended." In addition, signs will advise visitors that "The amount you pay is up to you."
Andrew Celli Jr., a lawyer for the plaintiffs, said Saturday that the new signage "really opens up the museum to people of all economic levels."
Museum officials said they were refining the Met's admissions policies to coincide with next month's opening of a new outpost, the Met Breuer, at the former Madison Avenue home of the Whitney Museum of American Art.
"All of our recent branding and marketing work has been aimed at simplifying our message of welcome to the public and emphasizing that we are accessible to the widest possible audience," Met CEO Thomas P. Campbell said in a statement.
The Met draws more than 6 million visitors a year and recommends an admission fee of $25 for adults, $17 for seniors and $12 for students.
The 2013 lawsuit accused the Met of misleading visitors by implying that they had to pay the full amount. Museum officials denied the allegation.
The lawsuit charged that under the museum's 19th-century lease with the city it had no authority to charge any suggested admission. That portion of the suit was thrown out.
Under the settlement announced Friday, which is subject to court approval, the museum's website as well as signs at admissions desks will use the new language.
Celli, with the firm Emery Celli Brinckerhoff & Abady LLP, said the settlement affects the font size and placement of the words rather than just replacing "recommended" with "suggested."
"Suggested" is now the same size as the word "admission," he said. "I think it really brings the museum back to where it should have been, and where it was historically."
This article was written by Karen Matthews from The Associated Press and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.