WTC Officials Face Admission-Fee Friction

post 24-June-2006 12:28
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Jun 23, 7:47 PM (ET) By VERENA DOBNIK

NEW YORK (AP) – After wrestling with the costs and design of the Sept. 11 memorial, planners face another dilemma – whether to charge admission to the museum honoring those who died at the World Trade Center.

The state Assembly on Friday approved a bill barring any state money from going to the World Trade Center Memorial Foundation if admission is charged. The state Senate approved an identical measure Thursday.

The bill’s fate, though, is unclear.

Gov. George Pataki indicated he would veto the measure, saying the museum needs income to cover its substantial operating costs.

(AP) This file artist’s rendering released Tuesday, June 20, 2006, by the Lower Manhattan Development…
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Any plan to charge admission wouldn’t apply to most of the memorial, including a visitor’s center, reflecting pools and walls containing the names of the dead. Those areas would remain free, Pataki said.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg said Friday on his weekly radio show that a ban on admission charges was a bad idea.

“I hope the governor vetoes the bill because it’s probably true that without being able to charge, we can’t build the memorial,” he said.

The mayor said that of the estimated $500 million cost of the memorial, half will come from public funds, “and the city can’t be in a position down the road where people say, ‘Oh, come on, you’ve got to pay for all the maintenance.'”

About $50 million a year would be needed to run the memorial site, Bloomberg said, including security costs and a fund for repairs.

(AP) This artist’s rendering, supplied Tuesday June 20, 2006, by the Lower Manhattan Development…
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Elsewhere in the country, there is no clear precedent on charging admission. In Oklahoma City, where the 1995 terrorist bombing of a federal building killed 168 people, general admission to the National Memorial & Museum is $8. But the Outdoor Symbolic Memorial, which is open 24 hours a day, is free.

In Washington, admission is free to both the Vietnam Veterans Memorial and the Holocaust Memorial Museum.

In New York, the issue of admission fees to the ground zero museum is far from resolved. Admission to the outdoor memorial will be free, the foundation says.

On Friday, the three top foundation officials sent a letter to Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver and Senate Majority Leader Joseph Bruno, saying they strongly oppose the bill.

“This bill threatens to undermine the long-term care and operations of the memorial and museum at ground zero,” said the letter signed by John C. Whitehead, the foundation’s chairman, as well as Thomas S. Johnson, chairman of its executive committee, and acting president Joseph C. Daniels.

(AP) This artist’s rendering, supplied Tuesday June 20, 2006, by the Lower Manhattan Development…
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The Senate bill was sponsored by Sen. Martin Golden, who said that charging for visitors to see a memorial to the more than 2,700 people who died on Sept. 11, 2001, is distasteful.

“Could you imagine a mom, dad, son or daughter having to pay to go in where their loved one died?” asked Golden.

But foundation spokeswoman Lynn Rasic said that even if the public is charged fees, the museum would be free of charge to any family member or loved one of those who died on Sept. 11.

The opening of the museum and memorial is slated for 2009.

Associated Press writers Sara Kugler in New York City and Marc Humbert in Albany contributed to this report.



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post 24-June-2006 15:13
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There is absolutely NO justification for charging a compulsory admission fee. Glasgow operates a policy of museums being funded by voluntary donation. From the Glasgow Museums website:


The City of Glasgow owns one of the richest collections in Europe, displayed in 13 museums across the city.

From Sir Roger the elephant to Rembrandt’s A Man in Armour, and 1950s trams to medieval tapestries, we’ve got something for everyone. Admission to our sites is free, so you can drop in and meet a friend for coffee, or take the family and make a day of it. There’s something in Glasgow Museums for everyone, and children are particularly welcome.

A small entry charge may apply to temporary exhibitions. The National Trust for Scotland administers Pollok House for us and charges apply during the summer months.

That the National Trust (read: NWO Land-Grab Scheme) charges admission is hardly a surprise. For the rest, the voluntary scheme operated by Glasgow Museums proves that a cash-grabbing business model is absolutely not a necessity. Shame on the WTC Memorial Foundation, this indicates that it is no different than e.g. the Carnegie or Rockerfeller Foundations; copious evidence shows that they were set up for political & socially-manipulative, rather than philanthropic, purposes.


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