The other day I was talking with a colleague of mine about museums. I was telling her that the previous weekend I had gone to a beautiful museum and that I was very happy to be in Rome because I was discovering many amazing things around the city. She told me that on the first Sunday of each month all museums are free, so to plan to go there on those dates, so I wouldn’t have to pay the ticket. I told her that I had tried to do that, but apparently I had chosen the only museum that doesn’t participate to the free Sunday. She said that it was too bad, but I answered that it wasn’t a problem because I anyway didn’t mind to pay the ticket. She was startled of course because sometimes museum tickets are very expensive. We started to discuss about ticket prices: in which countries you pay the most, in which countries you pay the least, where you have discounts, and which discounts should be applied, why you should pay, why you should’ pay etcetera.
After our discussion I am still happy to pay the ticket. First of all because, as I am under 26 years of age, I still get a reduced price, and that is very nice. Secondly because, even if the reduced price is never lower than 8€ and in some places can be up to 13€, I get to see some wonderful and amazing things that otherwise I wouldn’t be able to enjoy. Moreover, my ticket pays for a huge amount of work that I can’t even imagine: it pays for the people who found the artworks, it pays for those who studied them, it pays for those who restored them, it pays for the museum to stay open, it pays for further research to be done. And I am contributing to this with barely 10€.
I also don’t think that we should make it completely free for citizens or for those who live in a particular area (unless it is a State policy in State-owned museums). Many people argue in favor to this by saying: “it’s mine! It’s my history, it’s my country’s artwork. Why do I have to pay to see it?” My answer to this is that it’s not yours. Or better, it’s not only
yours. It’s everybody’s. Whatever you see in a museum belongs to humanity. No one says it’s not part of your history, and that you might not be more attached to it than others, but it’s still not only yours.
I might still be the only crazy one who doesn’t mind to pay the ticket to enter into a museum. It’s fine. I respect other people’s views. I am only grateful that I have the possibility to walk in a museum and see the beautiful remaining of my past, I am grateful that no one is blowing them up like it is happening in the Middle East, I am grateful that anytime I want, I can pay at the entrance and admire the beautiful artworks that great artists left for us to enjoy.