Holzer also noted that in the past fiscal year, 41 percent of visitors to the Met paid the full recommended admission price — $25 for adults, $17 for seniors and $12 for students.
A random sampling of visitors leaving the museum found that there was a general awareness that "recommended" implied you could pay less than the posted price.
But Dan Larson and his son Jake, visiting the museum last week from Duluth, Minn., were unaware there was any room to negotiate the admission price. They paid the full $25 each for adult tickets, with a credit card.
"My understanding was you pay the recommended price," said Larson, 50. "That's clearly not displayed."
Alexander Kulessa, a 23-year-old university student from Germany, said friends who had previously visited New York tipped him off about the admission fee.
"They said, 'Don't pay $25,'" said Kulessa. "They said it will be written everywhere to pay $25 but you don't have to pay that. You don't even have to pay the student price."
For Colette Leger, a tourist from Toronto who visited the museum with her teenage daughter, paying the full $25 was worth every penny.
"It's a beautiful museum, and I was happy to pay," she said.
Associated Press writer Jake Pearson contributed to this report.
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