Museum dept seeks fivefold hike in Venkatappa Art Gallery entry fee

Museum dept seeks fivefold hike in Venkatappa Art Gallery entry fee

Wants Rs 20; additional revenue will help in upkeep of gallery

Museum dept seeks fivefold hike in Venkatappa Art Gallery entry fee

Amid the controversy over the adoption of Venkatappa Art Gallery (VAG) in Bengaluru, the museum department has sought a hike in the gallery’s entry ticket price.

The department on March 10 sent a proposal to C G Betsurmath, commissioner, Archeology, Museums and Heritage seeking an enhancement of entry charge to Rs 20 (for adults) and Rs 10 (for children), for both the gallery and the adjacent Government Museum.

The entry charge for the gallery and the Government Museum (built in 1865) is only Rs 4. The price has not changed for the last 20 years. The museum department’s ticketing revenue was Rs 3.75 lakh In 2014-15 and Rs 3.88 lakh in 2015-16.

The department, which maintains both the entities, feels hiking ticket prices would generate additional revenue, which would help better upkeep of the gallery and the museum, including lighting and new flooring.

Officials also said visitors to the gallery/museum too have wondered why the entry charge is so low. As many as 400 to 500 people visit the gallery everyday, and the footfall goes up to nearly 1,000 visitors a day during weekends in summer.

Asked why the department had mooted the enhancement after the MoU was signed, sources said there was uncertainty over the implementation of the MoU, and that till something materialises, the department could do with additional revenue. When contacted, Betsurmath said he was yet to examine the proposal.

“There is such a proposal, but I am yet to examine it before sending it for government approval. However, there is nothing wrong in keeping ticket prices nominal. Entry to most of our museums is free,” he added.

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