Sept. 11 Museum president defends $24 admission fee - New York News

Memorial remains free

Sept. 11 Museum president defends $24 admission fee

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    Sept. 11 Museum president defends $24 admission fee

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    The president of the National September 11 Memorial and Museum is defending the decision to charge a $24 adult admission fee when the museum finally opens in May 2014 after some 9/11 families criticized the price tag.
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NEW YORK (MYFOXNY) -

The president of the National September 11 Memorial and Museum is defending the decision to charge a $24 adult admission fee when the museum finally opens in May 2014 after some 9/11 families criticized the price tag.

Joe Daniels pointed out that the 9/11 Memorial complex receives no federal, state, or local funding to defray its projected $63 million annual operating cost and that the memorial plaza, which is already open, will continue to remain free.

"A general admission ticket of $24 will help fulfill our obligation to commemorate and preserve the history of 9/11. It will also enable educational programming that will teach the nature of and responsibility for the special freedoms we have," Daniels said in a written statement posted online. "Importantly, a Museum admissions will also ensure the Memorial, which has had more than 11.5 million visitors since opening two years ago, will be free and open to everyone."

The museum will always be free to 9/11 family members, Daniels said. He added that the museum will also have some free hours every week and that children, seniors and schools will get discounts.

But a group called 9/11 Parents & Families of Firefighters and WTC Victims has denounced the admission fee, calling it too high and a "disgrace" that serves to only fund the "outrageous six figure salaries" of some executives at the memorial.

"[T]he rich will visit the museum, but the poor and middle class families won't be able to afford it," the group said in a statement. "Unfortunately, there is no fiscal responsibility or accountability at this site."

The group is calling for the National Park Service, which manages dozens of nationally important monuments and memorials around the country (including the Flight 93 National Memorial in Pennsylvania) to take over the Ground Zero site and make the museum affordable to the public.

Indeed, Daniels, the memorial president, seemed to imply in his statement that future federal funding was welcome.

"The 9/11 Memorial does not yet receive government support for ongoing operations as many other important museums of our national history do," he said.

Several members of the Congress, including Sens. Chuck Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand, have tried to push for federal money for the memorial and museum, but those efforts have stalled in Washington.

The 9/11 Memorial does not have an endowment, but has managed to raise about $700 million in private donations for construction and operation, according to the AP.

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