The 9/11 Museum, located at the World Trade Center, is set to open in 2014 and will include a mandatory admission fee. Although the price has yet to be set, some believe admission to the 9/11 museum could cost as much as $20 to $25.
The 9/11 memorial, which is currently open, is free to all visitors and will remain so after the museum opens next year, the Associated Press reports. The 9/11 museum will include artifacts from the World Trade Center, profiles of victims of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, items from the construction of the World Trade Center, memorials and exhibitions providing background information about the attacks.
The 9/11 museum is being developed, and will be operated by, the National September 11 Memorial & Museum at the World Trade Center Foundation Inc., and, while the foundation has been accepting donations, it claims it will need to charge an admission fee to operate the museum and memorial.
The admission fee was agreed to following a vote by the board of directors last week, AP notes. The museum’s opening has been delayed for several years due to the funding issue and is finally set to open in spring 2014. According to AP, operating costs will be around $60 million per year, and Joseph Daniels, president of the National September 11 Memorial and Museum, said of the decision, “This is something that is going to be important and is going to be worth the expenditure.”
The foundation does plan to offer discounts for students and senior citizens and will be free for several hours each week, AP notes. One of the foundation’s board members, Debra Burlingame, spoke to AP and said one of the reasons for the admission fee was the security presence needed to keep the museum safe. Burlingame also said it would be difficult to rely yearly on suggested donations from guests of the museum and from online donations.
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A required admission fee to the 9/11 museum has received a mixed reaction from those polled. Some people speaking to AP believed the museum should be free, treating the site as a “church,” while others believed the fee was a reasonable expense to ask from visitors.
Charles Wolf, whose wife died in the 9/11 attacks, spoke to WCBS 880 about the possible $20 admission fee, and he supported the cost. Wolf said, “I don’t have a problem with it, because to tell the whole story of 9/11 requires a big exhibit, and that will require a lot of ongoing maintenance costs, shall we say.” Wolf hopes that the fee will keep the 9/11 museum for years so others can visit the site.
While the 9/11 admission fee is drawing some ire, another recent decision by the foundation has also provoked a negative reaction by the public. While the 9/11 memorial is free, the foundation is now charging $2 for each reservation made over the phone or online, CBS News notes. The foundation says the $2 charge goes toward paying the $700 million the museum and memorial cost to build, while some believe the foundation is profiting off the attacks.