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September 11 Memorial could charge $20 entrance fee

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World Trade Tower lights

The National September 11 Memorial & Museum is considering charging $20 cover charge for visitors. The group already has total assets of half a billion and $150 million in cash according to their tax filing.

It is expected that the nonprofit group expects operating costs of $60 million and five million visitors per year when it opens in 2012.

Bill Doyle, whose son died in the World Trade Center attacks, told the New York Post “I don't think they should charge…You can go to almost any memorial in the world outside of New York and not get charged admission.”

Spokesman for the museum Michael Frazier said “While it is our preference not to charge admission to the 9/11 Memorial Museum, we must generate funding for ongoing maintenance and operations.

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Joe Daniels, the memorial president, said victims’ relative would always enter the memorial for free. The museum officials are exploring ways to raise more money through grants so that admission would be free.

Over the weekend Mayor Michael Bloomberg was criticized for endorsing the admission fee.

Speaking in a radio interview he said “Well, the money's got to come from someplace.”

The New York Post reported that Bloomberg sees the museum as some type of tourist attraction. He said “Given people pay 12, 15 bucks to go to the movies…if you have a nominal charge that helps pay the bills, I certainly have no objections to that."

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