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LETTERS

Let museums be funded by their visitors

October 26, 2003

Regarding "It's a Grim Picture for Museum Lovers as Entry Fees Climb" [Oct. 12]: Staff writer Jane Engle laments the fact that admission prices at U.S. museums are rising, in contrast to the "free" admission at publicly funded museums elsewhere in the world. She seems to be unaware that "publicly funded" means funded by taxation. Admission to museums should be based on the same principle as the purchase of any other product: Those who use it should be the ones who pay for it. As a museum-goer, I have no right to force non-goers to subsidize my personal values.

Michael S. Berliner

West Los Angeles

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I was surprised that Engle's article omitted our own gem, the Getty Museum, which does not charge any entry fee and charges only $5 for parking on the grounds. Many of the visitors to the Getty are from around the country and the world. As a volunteer I know the first questions many of these visitors ask: Where is the ticket booth, and how much is admission? It is a pleasure to respond that entry is free.

Jim Morrow

Los Angeles

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