Government Consultation- Free Admission to National Museums Watch

Andrew97
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Government Consultation- Free Admission to National Museums

The policy of free admission to the permanent collections of National Museums has now been in place for around 20 years. This has brought a significant increase in visitor numbers upon introduction (double to the Victoria and Albert Museum in the first year, for example, and 70% overall by 2009).

However, this policy does not extend to all works on display, and perhaps more importantly, does not extend to regional museums or any privately or most that are National Trust/English Heritage run. So the benefit of free admission is limited, and in particular London dominates above all.

The Government therefore wishes to consult on a range of possible options going forward, broadly within the £450m spent by the Department on museums and art galleries (in 2018/19), and Lottery funding available. The specific options are:

1. To retain the existing free admission for all to the permanent collections of National Museums.
2. To have free admission to all collections of National Museums for specific age groups only.
3. To have free admission to all collections of National Museums, limited to perhaps a few hours per week or say one month a year. An example of the weekly free admission time is the Prado Museum in Madrid.
4. To provide funding such that regional and some private museums and art galleries as well as National Museums can provide periods of free or reduced rate access.

Other suggestions/proposals can be put forward. The consultation runs for 3 months.
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CheeseIsVeg
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My housemate has this little art pass thing that gets her into galleries and some museums for a year
I know that you can also get a Student National Trust card at a reduced rate as well

[Contribution over]
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Rakas21
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While I have sympathy for the idea of British culture and possessions being free to view (not any foreign stuff - excluding colonial, the empire should be celebrated) I question what incentive the private museums and galleries would have to procure new and expensive pieces since the state would have to impose a funding limit.
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The Mogg
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I'm generally opposed to the idea of National Museums, especially with free admissions. I just don't think the taxpayer should have to prop up Museums that can't operate commercially.
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CatusStarbright
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Private museums and art galleries can do what they like as far as I'm concerned, and should be left to do as they will.

As for everything else in public hands, I think it is important that as many people can have access to them as possible. I also think it's important to acknowledge the London/region divide in this respect too. The only national museum in Yorkshire is the NRM (railway museum), and it has long been threatened with having to impose an entry fee to remain viable, it does remain free at the moment but this is only because of the local outrage at the suggestion that our only national museum would have to charge whereas in London there are loads that are all free.

If you're going to impose entry fees to boost funds, then either impose them uniformly or offer a reduced/free rate for the regional museums in light of the fact that there are far fewer outside of London. Additionally, I'd suggest considering a mixture of options 2 and 3 to permit as many people as possible to retain access to the museums after the imposition of entry fees.
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Baron of Sealand
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Unless they are making enough money in another way, such as through donations, sponsorships, or advertisements, I would only support free admission for the largest public museums which collect the most valuable items.
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04MR17
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(Original post by Baron of Sealand)
the largest public museums which collect the most valuable items.
And how are you defining value?:holmes:
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Baron of Sealand
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(Original post by 04MR17)
And how are you defining value?:holmes:
Price, expert opinion, international recognition, popularity, fame.
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