LETTER:The right price to pay to visit the V&A

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The Independent Online
From Mr David Harris

Sir: The director of the Victoria & Albert Museum, Dr Alan Borg, informs us that "affordability" is not an issue in deciding whether, and at what level, to introduce compulsory charges for admission ("V&A director attacks 'silly' donations", 17 November).

This extraordinary remark does not bode well for the future of the V&A. I am afraid I must inform Dr Borg that affordability is a judgement that most of us ordinary mortals on ordinary incomes have to make every day of our lives, let alone when deciding whether we can afford to visit the V&A.

A further pronouncement by Dr Borg, in the Antique Collector, to the effect that a majority of visitors to the V&A could afford a pounds 10 entrance fee reveals an ignorance almost amounting to contempt for what average earners can afford.

Over the past few years, the V&A has attracted a loyal and growing constituency of regular visitors, due in no small measure to the attraction of a voluntary payment system. Dr Borg has dismissed the system as "silly" and "uncomfortable" for visitors. From my personal experience, quite the opposite is the case. Affordable entry leads to satisfied customers and consistent cash flows that Dr Borg will ignore at his peril.

Yours faithfully,

David Harris

London, W14

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