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Old March 26 2014, 12:04 AM   #1
Miss Chicken
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Location: Howrah, Hobart, Tasmania
MONA

I want to ask people's opinion on a certain aspect of Tasmania's most popular tourist attraction, It is

Mona - the Museum of Old and New Art
- is Australia's largest privately owned museum. It showcases owner David Walsh's collection, which includes more than 2000 artworks, antiquities and ethnographic pieces. The collection ranges from Egyptian funerary objects to some of the world's most infamous and thought-provoking contemporary art. reviews and visitors' photos here

When David Walsh decided to share his collection he built a very impressive building to house it in and then opened it up to the public. Last time I visited besides hearing the constant complaint "This isn't art" from the friend who was accompanying me, I also overheard several complaints from people not happy with the fact that Walsh, in his 'wisdom', has decided to let Tasmanians into his museum for free but all other adults have to pay $20 (or $15 with a Australian concession card). Under 18 year olds get in for free.

So I am asking people would you be annoyed if you went to a tourist attraction and found out locals could get in for free but you had to pay?

Last edited by Miss Chicken; March 26 2014 at 12:34 AM.
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Old March 26 2014, 12:18 AM   #2
macloudt
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Re: MONA

I don't know if I'd truly be annoyed, but I'd find it odd. Around here most of the museums are free, so I'd balk at paying $20 for admission unless there was an exhibition I really wanted to see.

The cathedral in my city does do something similar, though only recently. People living within certain postcodes can get a free pass to enter the cathedral as often as they wish during regular open hours. For visitors from outside the city limits the entry fee is £6 or £8 if you want to go up the north tower. The exception to the fee is for those who wish to enter the cathedral only to pray or attend a service. I love visiting the cathedral so I'm glad I'll no longer have to pay to get in.
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Old March 26 2014, 12:27 AM   #3
Miss Chicken
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Re: MONA

I think that the difference between MONA and most other museums is that MONA is not state funded, and it isn't a charity or a non-government organisation, nor is it a philanthropic organisation either.It is totally a private collection, Walsh owns all the art, the building and he pays the staff.
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Old March 26 2014, 12:29 AM   #4
1001001
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Re: MONA

Miss Chicken wrote: View Post
So I am asking people would you be annoyed if you went to a tourist attraction and found out locals could get in for free but you had to pay?
Not really.

Las Vegas has things like that.
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Old March 26 2014, 12:33 AM   #5
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Re: MONA

It would not annoy me at all.

I'm also dying to go there and if I get to Tasmania I definitely will.
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Old March 26 2014, 12:34 AM   #6
Melakon
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Re: MONA

It's Walsh's building, art, and staff. Seems to me he can charge whatever he wants and set the conditions however he wants. If people don't like his terms, they don't have to go in.
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Old March 26 2014, 12:40 AM   #7
Tora Ziyal
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Re: MONA

I'd only be irritated if I'd been led to believe it was free for everyone and then found out I, as a foreigner, had to pay.

I checked out the reviews and pics -- looks like someplace I'd love to go!
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Old March 26 2014, 12:49 AM   #8
macloudt
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Re: MONA

Miss Chicken wrote: View Post
I think that the difference between MONA and most other museums is that MONA is not state funded, and it isn't a charity or a non-government organisation, nor is it a philanthropic organisation either.It is totally a private collection, Walsh owns all the art, the building and he pays the staff.
Ah, I see. In that case the unusual setup isn't something that bothers me.
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Old March 26 2014, 12:58 AM   #9
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Re: MONA

No, the setup doesn't bother me at all. I actually kind of like the idea, to be honest. It seems like a nice way to give back to the community (in addition to the tourist money the museum also likely brings in).
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Old March 26 2014, 01:11 AM   #10
thestrangequark
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Re: MONA

I like the arrangement too. At the very least it's honest. I love the Met and AMNH, but I can't really get behind the way they try too fool people into paying so much for tickets. The ticket prices are prohibitive, and everyone deserves to see those museums. I don't even think most New Yorkers know that they are in actuality free, let alone the tourists who end up paying $20-40 a piece.
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Old March 26 2014, 01:17 AM   #11
mari
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Re: MONA

Around here we charge tourists more to visit the beach than we locals pay (nobody gets in for free unless it's off-season) so it seems entirely fair to me. Looks like he's got a restaurant in there, so possibly he's making more money off locals eating there by letting them into the museum overall for free.
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Old March 26 2014, 09:50 AM   #12
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Re: MONA

You have to PAY to go to the beach?!
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Old March 26 2014, 10:04 AM   #13
Roger Wilco
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Re: MONA

Miss Chicken wrote: View Post
I think that the difference between MONA and most other museums is that MONA is not state funded, and it isn't a charity or a non-government organisation, nor is it a philanthropic organisation either.It is totally a private collection, Walsh owns all the art, the building and he pays the staff.
That sounds quite philantropic actually, since I really doubt you can make a profit with an art museum (or even pay for expenses), especially without charging locals, except if the main purpose is to sell the artworks.
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Old March 26 2014, 10:59 AM   #14
Miss Chicken
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Re: MONA

I gather he isn't considered a philantropist for the following reasons

Moreover, MONA is not a philanthropic organisation. When rich individuals give artworks to a public gallery or institution, they derive an entirely legitimate tax deduction for it. MONA is not a public gallery, and the art remains owned by Walsh. He hasn’t given it away.
SOURCE

The Australian Tax Office said that Walsh owed them $37 million dollars in taxes, but Walsh disagreed because he insists he made all his money gambling and gambling wins are not taxable in Australia. In the end he and the ATO reached a secret deal after he used MONA as a bargaining tool.
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Old March 26 2014, 01:22 PM   #15
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Re: MONA

teacake wrote: View Post
You have to PAY to go to the beach?!
I'm thinking it may be a privately owned beach.
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