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9/11 museum hopes for federal funds

July 5, 2011 at 1:56 PM

NEW YORK, July 5 (UPI) -- Relatives of those who died in New York on Sept. 11, 2001, say there should be no admission charge for the museum at the World Trade Center site.

Officials and those involved in planning and building the memorial and museum agree, the New York Daily News reported Tuesday. But they also say the museum needs stable funding.

"Building and operating an appropriate museum to help the world remember and learn about the events of 9/11 on the country's most complicated construction site is expensive," Andrew Brent, a spokesman for Mayor Michael Bloomberg, said.

Memorial & Museum President Joe Daniels estimates operating expenses at $60 million a year. That could mean an admission charge of as much as $20 a head or a voluntary donation with a "suggested contribution" of $25.

The museum has asked Congress to provide federal funding. That would allow the museum to be free or at least reduce the admission charge to a more manageable level.

Jim Riches, a retired deputy chief with the New York Fire Department, lost his son, Jimmy, a 29-year-old firefighter, on Sept. 11. He said the museum might as well sell T-shirts if it is going to charge $25.

"This was supposed to be a place of valor, remembrance and reverence," Riches said.

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