Letter: Museum charges: a `moribund tax' on national culture

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The Independent Online
Sir: Your leading article opines that "national institutions ... have no place for turnstiles and ticket machines in their entrance halls".

Would that this were true of our cathedrals, most of which have kiosks and cash registers cunningly designed to relieve visitors of a not inconsiderable "contribution". Sadly, unless there is a change in the attitude of the state to the funding of these ancient and costly-to-maintain buildings the present entrance charges will continue and inevitably will increase. Deans and chapters can no longer manage without them.

Encouraging visitors to make contributions into free-standing collection boxes does not produce a comparable income. The reality is that enriching and mind-broadening experiences, even of a spiritual nature, can be had only at a price.

ELISABETH CURZEN

Salisbury, Wiltshire

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