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The E-Sylum:  Volume 9, Number 14, April 2, 2006, Article 16

CONGRESSMAN PROPOSES ADMISSION FEES FOR SMITHSONIAN MUSEUMS

Washington, D.C. is a tourist's paradise because of the 160 year
old free-admission policy at the Smithsonian museums.  But visiting
the National Numismatic Collection display and other exhibits could
someday require an admission fee if a Congressman has his way.

"The suggestion, by Rep. James P. Moran Jr. (D-Va.), came during
congressional hearings at which a Smithsonian official said the
complex is crumbling because there is not enough money for critical
repairs.

"Personally, I don't understand why we don't charge a fee," said
Moran, a member of the appropriations panel that approves
Smithsonian funding."

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[It would be sad to see the tradition end, but I think it's only
fair that visitors help pay part of the burden.  Similarly, as a
longstanding practice, most coin shows charge no admission fee.
But a number of larger shows do charge a fee and it's the accepted
practice for virtually every other type of trade fair from gun shows
to bridal shows to home shows.  Over time the market dictates the
appropriate amount for an admission fee - shows that try to charge
too much will see their attendance drop.  But an appropriately
modest admission fee would not scare away many interested attendees
and would help offset the costs of running the show.  -Editor]

  Wayne Homren, Editor

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