Metropolitan Museum Will Change $25 Admission Signs After Settling Lawsuit

February 28, 2016 Updated: February 28, 2016

The Metropolitan Museum in New York City has had a long open secret: although it’s open to the public for free, many visitors think the price of admission is $25, which many gladly pay. 

In 2013, a pair of visitors from the Czech Republic and a New York resident sued the museum, claiming that the admission fee violated the term’s of the museum’s lease. Although parts of the lawsuit were thrown out, the museum ultimately settled. 

Starting March 1, the Met Museum will replace “recommended” with “suggested” on the $25 admission sign, and add a message, in bold, reminding visitors that the admission fee is voluntary, the Wall Street Journal reports. 

“For what the museum provides, a $25 fee is actually quite a bargain,” Daniel Weiss, the Museum’s president, told the paper. “But we don’t want the public to feel that they have to pay it. We want to strike a fair bargain with every visitor.”

The change is unlikely to threaten to Museum financially. 

A Met spokesperson said in 2013 that 41% of visitors pay the full admission price, according to the Associated Press, which accounts for only 11% of the Museum’s annual revenue. Most of its operating costs are covered by earnings from its $2.58 billion investment portfolio. The Museum also pays no taxes because of its non-profit status. 

Each year, more than  6 million people visit the Met Museum, considered one of the top museums in the world.