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9/11 Memorial Museum Will Be Charging An Admission Fee

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- When the National September 11 Memorial & Museum opens on the World Trade Center site, you will have to pay an admission fee to visit, CBS 2's Steve Langford reported.

The 9/11 museum will charge a fixed fee rather than a suggested donation, in the range of $20 to $25, according to a statement

A spokesman for the museum said the non-profit organization relies on the support of the public and not government funding, and said the museum is exploring a fee in line with comparable institutions.

Some families of 9/11 victims voiced objection to the decision to charge an admission fee, WCBS 880's Jim Smith reported. They called the plan to charge admission insulting.

But Charles Wolf -- whose wife, Katherine, died in the 2001 attacks – said a fee is likely necessary.

9/11 Memorial Museum Will Be Charging An Admission Fee

"I don't have a problem with it, because to tell the whole story of 9/11 requires a big exhibit, and that will require a lot of ongoing maintenance costs, shall we say," he said.

Wolf told WCBS 880 that without charging admission, the museum might end up deteriorating in the future.

"I want this not just to be great it opens. I want this museum to be great 50 years down the line," he said. "Unless you plan your finances properly, the museum would fall into disrepair."

The announcement of the admission charge comes on the heels of another decision that infuriated some 9/11 families. The memorial has added a $2 service fee to online and phone reservations, and relatives feel the foundation that is operating the memorial is cashing in on all that they have lost.

"I think it's an outrage. I mean, people are coming down there to pay their respects to the people that died that day. They shouldn't have to pay, you can't charge to get into a cemetery and I think they're making this a revenue-generating tourist attraction," Jim Riches told WCBS 880's Jim Smith last month.

He said no one should have to pay a fee to go to the memorial and say a prayer for his son and the nearly 3,000 others lost in the terror attacks.

The 9/11 Foundation said the $2 fee helps support the operational needs of the memorial and the not-yet-completed museum, which together, the foundation said will cost $700 million.

The foundation added that the fee eventually will be eliminated, since once construction is finished, advance passes will no longer be needed. And the fee does not apply to 9/11 families.

Questions of funding the memorial and museum are not new. Construction of the museum actually came to a halt for months last year when the Port Authority and the 9/11 Foundation battled over who would pay how much.

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