Friday, January 24, 2014

Hard to argue 9/11 isn't about money: 9/11 Museum to Charge $24 Admission Fee

Crain's reported that the 9/11 Museum will charge a $24 admission fee.  This isn't a shock, and you can read the article about their reason (fee will fill a gap for operating).  I fully support this approach, and it is completely justified (and needed).  But, I do think there is a bigger implication.  This approach and the way the Museum is being positioned clearly demonstrate that 9/11 has become monetized.  On the surface, the Museum is about memory and mourning, but it has taken on a life as an economic force.  The 9/11 Museum will have economic impact.  You know this is part of the backroom discussions (it always was and will be).  9/11 will drive admission sales and gift shop sales.  And restaurant sales and hotel overnights and taxi fares and so on.  The Memorial already has this impact.  The 9/11 Museum, through no fault of its own, has further developed 9/11 into a revenue generating force.  In a way, this is a culmination of the material culture response that I relate through my collection here.  Although the Museum will display objects related to the actual event, the Museum will also feature the material culture that developed around 9/11.  And many of these items were tied directly to sales and consumerism, which I've highlighted here.  Ironically, the 9/11 Museum's Gift Shop now perpetuates this phenomena.  I always know that if I really want to look for new examples to add to my collection, I can always visit the 9/11 Gift Shop. 

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