Letter: Pay per view

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The Independent Online
Sir: I have a suggestion on charging for, or, rather, the financing of, museums and galleries. Here in Italy, because I have reached ripe early middle age, I am entitled to enter the main galleries free of charge. Being as vain as any grande horizontale, and being paid decently for one of the most enjoyable jobs in the world, I do not exercise that right. (I have tried claiming to be under 18, but that never works.)

My suggestion is that (thinking of the Gemaldesgalerie, Berlin, or the Museo Capodimonte, Naples, for example) our museums charge, say, five pounds. Those claiming, on their own say-so, to be under 25, or over 65 should be admitted free. Anyone cheating to get in deserves the educational experience thus gained.

Professor ARTHUR MARWICK

Royal Hotel, Naples

The writer is Professor of History at the Open University

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