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Met Museum Spokesman: Claims About Admissions Policy Are ‘Fiction’

Former Employee Was Quoted As Saying Cashiers Were Judged On Receipts
(credit: CBS 2)

(credit: CBS 2)

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — A spokesman for the Metropolitan Museum of Art dismissed as “a total fiction” claims in a published report that the museum bases pay for its cashiers on how much money they bring in despite its policy of only demanding a suggested donation.

Former admissions department supervisor Gerald Lee Jones was quoted in the New York Post as saying cashiers were compensated according to how much money they brought in from admissions. He said in an affidavit quoted by the newspaper that even cashiers with a history of unprofessional conduct were treated well if their receipts were high enough.

But museum spokesman Harold Holzer told 1010 WINS the claims were not true, and the policy of a $25 suggested admission — with an option for donations of a lower amount – has not changed.

“There has never been a reward system for the most admission money that a cashier takes in,” Holzer told 1010 WINS. “There has never been a bounty, there has never been a bonus, and people’s raises are never judged according to the per capita. It’s a total fiction.”

Jones has filed a lawsuit against the admissions policy, the Post reported. But Holzer said the system that is actually in place at the museum is as fair as it can be.

“I just wish people had something better to do than to rail against a policy that, in fact, is the fairest outside of the Smithsonian institutions in Washington – which are fully supported by the government and are free because of that – it’s the fairest system in the world,” he said.

Holzer also questioned what data Jones used to come up with his claims.

“He did not evaluate personnel. He did not evaluate raises. He had no access to the financial data that the auditors were recording,” he said. “Look, the only way someone could make this allegation is if they had no clue, so he fits that bill.”

Jones claimed that cashiers were told never to mention that the $25 admission was just a suggestion and they could pay what they wanted. But Holzer also dismissed this claim as false.

“Any cashier who is asked about it has a standard line, or lines, that they say. That is, ‘Our recommended admission is $25, but you may pay what you wish,” he said. “That’s what they say. That’s what they’ve always said.”

Forty years ago, New York City gave the museum the green light to charge a suggested admissions price. Nothing has changed since then, and people have always had a right to pay what they want now, Holzer said.

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