Friday, June 8, 2012

Should museums be charged or free?

Should museums and art galleries be free of charge for the general public, or should a charge, even a voluntary charge, be levied for admittance? Discuss this issue, and give your opinion. (*)

One very complex issue in today’s world is the funding of museums and art galleries. There is an argument that they should be free to the general public and funded by Governments, but there is also a case for saying that they should charge an entrance fee like other attractions. In this essay, I am going to examine both sides of this issue. (*)

Those who argue that museums should be free typically make one of two arguments. The first argument is that institutions like museums are a public service and therefore there should be free access to the man in the street. If for example there was a charge only the wealthy could afford to enjoy works of art. The second, and related, argument is that if they did levy a charge fewer people would go to museums. This would be serious concern as they are educational institutions and serve a lot in telling the history of a peculiar tradition and period.

In contrast, there is only one major argument on the other side of the debate. This is that both museums and art galleries need to charge an entrance fee if they are to survive in the modern world. Governments do not have sufficient funds to subsidize all such institutions and there are other priorities for public money. Therefore these galleries and museums need to charge their customers not only to survive but to update their exhibitions and make new purchases. By way of illustration, the Tate Modern in London could not have been founded without revenue from admissions.

In a nutshell, there is no clear answer to this question as there are such strong arguments on both sides. But if the ball is in my hand I would insist on charging nominal fees for museums and galleries. 


look at the underlined words and sentences, observe their key role at that particular position. Make a stock of such phrases or words and use them effectively in your essay to make it more coherent and cohesive. All the best.

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