Good evening everyone and welcome to the opening eve of this heritage museum. I deem it my honor and take extreme pleasure in being able to address this respected gathering here today.
This museum has been the dream and vision of many people for some time now, and when we thought about the value this museum holds and the stories the things found here have to tell the visitors, we decided to make the entry fee-free for all and my personal opinion, it is one of the best things that can be done by us for the people who would love to know their roots.
That decision we took has brought us to an important question: Should all national museums be free to citizens? It is obvious from our decision that we think it is important for the museums to be free for the citizens as it is important for one to know their roots to love and adore their land.
When one realizes the rich heritage and looks at things that once played a role in shaping the country that they live in or belong to or things that add value to the history of their land, they tend to feel more connected to the land and in a time where people are moving away from their country and are feeling disconnected from their roots, it is important to show them the reality of their roots and give the people instances and shreds of evidence to understand their land better.
Understandably, maintaining a museum can be quite a task, and some people depend on the institution for their living, so it cannot be made free to everyone, and the only option is to gain this income from foreign tourists, which shouldn’t be a problem because most tourists tend to visit these museums out of sheer interest and they wouldn’t mind paying for it.
Museums preserve and display our artistic, social, scientific, and political heritage. Everyone should have access to such important cultural resources as part of active citizenship, and because of the educational opportunities, they offer to people of every age. If museums are not funded sufficiently by the government, they will be forced to charge for entry, and this will inevitably deter many potential visitors, especially the poor and those whose educational and cultural opportunities have already been limited.
Visitors to the Victoria and Albert Museum in London declined by 15% after it started charging for admission. Free access is essential to provide freedom of cultural and educational opportunity. Museums are a crucial source of inspiration and education for our increasingly important creative industries.
Free access is an investment in the future of this sector of the economy and therefore has long-term benefits in securing prosperity for the whole of society. Tourists do contribute hugely to government revenues through the indirect taxes they pay and the jobs they generate, so free museum access to support the tourism industry is a sensible investment.
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