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Metropolitan Museum of Art retiring iconic admission buttons, citing rising metal prices

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FLICKR mjohnso Metropolitan Museum of Art admission button
FLICKR mjohnso Metropolitan Museum of Art admission button

Back on January 1st, 1971, the Metropolitan Museum of Art handed out its first admission button, and tomorrow will be the last day the iconic metal wafers will be given to visitors. For over 42 years guests have folded the metal tab over and stuck the buttons onto their collars as a proof of admission — and later taken them home as a keepsake from one the largest and most legendary art museums in the world. The museum has cycled through hundreds of color variations (all with some variation of the Met's Renaissance "M" logo) and those who collected all 16 colors in the current run could skirt the suggested $25 admission fee. Metal costs more than it used to, however. Starting on Monday, the museum is transitioning to paper ticket stickers, which, according to The New York Times, cost about one cent each compared to the three cents it currently pays for each of the roughly 6.4 million buttons purchased each year. As a consolation, the Met is adopting a new seven-day-a-week schedule — it used to be closed on Mondays.