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Con (against)
The Contender
Pro (for)

Should Art Museums Have Free Admission?

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 9/12/2016 Category: Miscellaneous
Updated: 1 month ago Status: Debating Period
Viewed: 136 times Debate No: 95350
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Art Museums should not have free admission. I think free museums are a great tradition, but I don't want these museums to decay. Charging for entry is a better remedy than selling paintings, closing galleries or sacking staff. Might it even give visitors a keener sense of the value of some of the greatest experiences it is possible to have?
Recently, Colleen Dilenschneider*, a nonprofit researcher, analyzed some data to determine if free admission helps to engage underserved audiences and attract new visitors. She found that when museums offer free admission, they don"t attract waves of new audiences.
Her analysis found, "Free admission also doesn"t always help boost visitors numbers. The Smithsonian Institute museums, all free, had their total attendance decline seven percent from 2012 to 2014, even as the U.S. population increased and tourism to the U.S. boomed. In 1997, the Baltimore Museum of Art had 320,000 visitors annually and charged them all an entry fee; it made admission free in 2006, and today, its annual attendance is just 180,000."


I accept the debate. I will now make my arguments.


I will be using italics for quoting a source

I will be using Underlines to quote my opponent.

i. The reason of Museums

I will begin my first argument, which is the reason of why museums like even exist. First of all, in this source [1], "Museums are nonprofit, charitable institutions whose sole purpose is to provide an educational and cultural experience to visitors." So the basic reason why we have museums is because they provide us an educational and cultural experience. But the people who cannot pay for the museums cannot get the experience, which makes the point of why museums are made destroyed. Then museums are useless, because it loses it's sole purpose.

Because museums are awesome and important and cool things, it will be pretty sad that now museums will be rubbish with fee, because it loses purpose and why the museum is a "museum." It should rather be called an art gallery. Museums are supposed to be free, or they lose their purpose. If we want museums to be purposesful, and make them not lose their purpose, and still provide all of us an educational and cultural experience, then museum fee should be banned.

ii. Cost

The costs of museums these days are in fact, too expensive. The Louvre is 15 euros of cost, and in fact, that is one of the cheapest museums. The Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, one adult is 25$ [2]. That is really expensive, and that isn't all. In the Museum of Modern Art in New York, the adults need to pay 25$, the seniors need to pay 18$, and the children need to pay 14$ [3]. That is a lot of money that they need to pay, and again, many people can't go into the museums because they don't have enough money. This totally makes the purpose lost of non profit, and providing a educational and cultural experience.

iii. Typical Museums

As I showed, the museums with less paying money, such as the Louvre, the Uffizi, and the Orsay or more better known and more famous than the other museums. Of course, there are reasons like the different art things, but one of the main reasons is of the cost. What is better, the museum of fine arts in boston, or the louvre? The Louvre, obviously.


I have succesfully shown that museums should not have fee, therefore vote for Pro!!!!
Debate Round No. 1


Thank you for your input, but museums should not be free.

The affirmative said that museums are for educational and cultural experiences. There are huge discounts for field trips to art museums. Say the normal price to go is $25, for field trips its only $5 a person.

The affirmative also said that museums are too expensive. But let me ask this... first off, how are they supposed to pay for their employees? The executive director has an annual salary of $70,000. This is only 1 out of 7 jobs who all get paid on average $46,000 annually. ( (
Also, according to Michael Rushton, who teaches students application in the arts, including the art of pricing, and also has has published widely on such topics as public funding of the arts, "Museums are not expensive." Especially compared to what we pay for opera, classical music or theatre.... It's an astonishing thing to be able to enjoy places like the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam for $25, or the Prado in Madrid for just $20.

The affirmative also stated that free or lower cost museums are more famous.... I would just like to say that I am studying art and artists right now, and most of the famous art work I have studied have come from the Rijksmuseum, who, may I remind you, has a $25 entry fee.

Here is an article by Sarah Cascone, an associate editor at Artnet, on June 1st, 2015.
She stated, "In New York, the Bronx Museum of the Arts eliminated it's $5 entry fee thanks to a three-year grant. Now the museum is scrambling to find the necessary $250,000 in it's budget to extend the popular policy."
She also said that "The Indianapolis Museum of Art, which has been free for decades, began charging $18 for tickets in April, thanks to financial difficulties."
And finally, she stated that "the New York's free museum of Biblical Art recently announced that it would close at the end of that month, as it was unable to afford real estate prices."

How do you think museums will be able to go free, if many are closing because of financial problems?


I'm going to be kinda harsh because, well, yeah. I will rebut my opponents arguments, and defend my arguments.

First of all, my opponent says that it will give a keener sense of the value. This is a bare assertion. at least we should have experiences, because of the money, some people can't even experience going in, because of the high cost. My opponent's argument is rebutted. Now I will move.

What my opponent says about the not attracting is false. First of all, it is a bare assertion. If you search, "Colleen Dilenschneider" in google, there are only facbook thingys. That is only the Smithosian, and if you see in this: (, the percentage of people actually went up by around 15 million more. So my opponent's argument about this is false. We don't know if it is because of that. My opponent's argument is a bare assertion.

There is no evidence that for the Baltimore museum of Art one. In this source (, it shows that it increased from when it started, and that should win, because it is the only sourced assertion, and always, a sourced assertion is better than a bare assertion.

Now I'll go into my defense.

My opponent only was stating about the Cost argument. Not the others. 1/3. There are many other ways that we can pay the employees, such as membership cards, etc. They don't only get them from the fees to go in the museums. So this argument is refuted.

Is the quote that museums are not expensive, which anyone can say better, or sourced evidence? The quote should be kicked out into the stupid oil. Museums have purposes for the things I said, but those things are different. My opponent's claims are all bare assertions, and he didn't even touch 2/3 of my arguments.

In conclusion, my opponent rebuts NONE of my arguments, and I refute ALL of his arguments, so I am the clear winner. Vote me.

Debate Round No. 2
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Debate Round No. 3
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