'The man who said museums should charge for entry' (ctd.)

September 10 2018

Image of 'The man who said museums should charge for entry' (ctd.)

Picture: HM Bateman

Here's a postscript to a story which first appeared long ago on AHN, in early 2011 (in fact, not long after AHN began): Tristram Hunt, director of the V&A, has changed his mind on free museum entry in the UK. Back in 2011, when he was a Member of Parliament for the city of Stoke-on-Trent, he argued that giving large amounts of public funding to mainly London museums to support free entry was wrong, given the fact that so many other museums across the UK were struggling with funding cuts. This caused some outrage, because free museum entry has become a Holy Grail in the UK.

Back then, I thought he had a point, insofar as we spend so much to subsidise overseas visitors (about half the British Museum's visitors are from overseas), when no other country does the same. Now, however, he says he backs free entry wholeheartedly, but has argued for a tourist tax to help fund museums. It's a tricky balance to strike, and I still don't think we've made it work. More here.  

Incidentally, I forgot to note that a little while ago AHN made its 5,000th post. To those readers who have been here from the start, thanks!

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