please empty your brain below

I went to the Lowry Centre in Salford last Christmas - I was in the area

And that's exactly what they did. You needed a ticket - printed with £0.00 - to get in. I thought it was insane and certainly didn't make me feel welcome.

I always just brazen it out - I think it was Salisbury Cathedral with a 'voluntary' admission charge at a turnstile i just said "I'm a member of the club" (meaning Church of England) and breezed through.

With a bit of luck it might mean that the people who can't control their kids, who spoil others' visits, think twice about going and go to the local park instead...

blue witch, i know what you mean about parents letting children 'express themselves' by climbing the sculptures and making helicopter noises, but i'm with DG on this one.

Bad experience somewhere, DG? Come on, name and shame.

Personally, I always drop a couple of quid in the collecting box. I choose to pay so that I can continue to choose to pay, rather than have to pay, like you did when Thatcher the Culture Snatcher reigned.

What is it with the Tories and the arts?

Arts involve intelligence and creativity. Being right-wing involves the opposite. Q-E-effing-D.

I was in Berlin a few days ago and you have to pay for all the state museums there, at about 7 euros a throw. Needless to say, almost all of the people in there were foreign tourists, not Berliners. I've always maintained that in countries with higher taxation which pays for arts and public services, people are 'richer' in real terms than those where taxation is lower but everything must be paid for up front.

In certain south eastern countries, donations are compulsory when taking admission to school, and colleges. And donations are just 5-20 times average salaries of people living there. I was surprised when you felt surprised about "Admission £10".

On holiday in Russia a couple of years back, I came across the perfect solution to this dilemma.

Russian nationals, on production of a passport, are given reduced price admission (vastly reduced in many cases) to all sorts of museums, galleries and theatres. Everyone else pays the "tourist" rate (much higher, but still very reasonable). This ensures that the Russian people have practically unfettered access to their cultural heritage, while visitors from abroad pay more (on the "if you can afford to take an international holiday, you can afford to subsidise Russian culture" basis).

This seems perfectly fair and reasonable to me. Showing your UK passport at a theatre, museum or gallery etc (or providing your passport number if booking tickets on the internet) should qualify you for a "I Live Here" rebate. Tourists pay extra.


@Capability Bowes.

I am sure that would be against EU rules as citizens of all (EU) countries must be treated equally. If you restrict it to EU
on-EU it is probably not worth doing.

The Guardian link said "the US model, where visitors are more robustly asked to pay".
More robustly? In other words bullied.
How is this going to encourage people to frequent their establishments?

I think Siwi sums it up. They'd be full of tourists but the locals would be sadly missing.

Thinking further on Capability Bowes suggestion, wasn't it the Tower that let local residents in for £1 on proof of Borough residency?

Couldn't all London museums therefore do something similar on production of a "This proves I live in a London Borough" card?

Sorry, Home Counties!

CornishCockney seems to have disproved Pedantic of Purley's assertion that "all EU members must be treated equally".

The Pompidou Centre in Paris has a free admission for EU Citizens 25 and under scheme.

More robustly? In other words bullied.

The way this works (in various places in America I've been to) is that they have a ticket desk and price list as if they were a for-pay museum, and no indication that entry is free or that you're making a voluntary donation when you buy a ticket.

Do we know how much more likely people are to visit Britain because of the current museum situation? I'm sure it plays an impact on choosing a destination for a visit for a city break.

Charging tourists could have a detrimental affect on our economy.

Certainly put me off going to museums in Switzerland last year when it cost about £20 each in one of the ones in Bern.

CornishCockney seems to have disproved Pedantic of Purley's assertion that "all EU members must be treated equally".

Absolute rubbish. You can distinguish on the basis of local residents (who may be of any nationality) but not on the basis of nationality. I think a "lives in the UK" basis might well be challenged in the courts though as being really an attempt to get around restricting it to a particular nationality.

If you're going to keep certain bits of your information back, then revel in the fact that you think you've tripped someone up because they're not privvy to that particular bit of information, then jolly good for you.

Isn't Russia an EU member?

"Charging tourists could have a detrimental affect on our economy."

Doesn't appear to have had an effect on stemming the enormous tide of tourists in the Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg, nor any of our party who quite happily paid the Tourist (i.e. non-Russian passport holder) rate at the Marinksy Theatre or the Bolshoi.

I think if tourists are going to come to London they aren't going to be put off by paying for museum admission, just like they aren't put off by paying for the Tower, Eye or Dungeon for example.
You don't visit somewhere then not go into any of what it has to offer because it costs. You suck it up into the cost of the trip.

Where it will potentially cause harm is with locals who could rightfully feel slighted that they are now being pressured into contributing to what was, in effect, free before.

Interesting what Graham says about museums in America not making it clear that payment is voluntary!
I think that is the line they'd take here too, otherwise the lines would be even more horrendous as patrons argue the point, as DG so eloquently put it in his post!

"Doesn't appear to have any affect..."

Do you know? How many more tourists might there be in Paris if more was free?

St Petersburg is not the best example because even with the tourist entry rate, prices are still relatively reasonable because of the exchange rates and lower costs of living over there (yes I've been and enjoyed those 30p bottles of beer)

Like I said, try going to Switzerland where it will cost you £25 per person to go into a museum and think about whether that would put you off.

C'mon Pedantic, answer the question. Isnt Russia an EU member state?

Personally, if I want to go and see something in a museum, I don't care how much it costs. Art enriches the soul, and that's worth more than rubies as far as I'm concerned.

(bored now)

Russia is not in the EU.

But they enter a song in Eurovision.

So does Azerbaijan.

(incredibly bored now)

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