The Metropolitan Museum of Art or The Met is the object of national pride for Americans. The largest art museum of the USA with one of the most notable collections in the world was founded in 1870 by a group of American citizens – businessmen and financiers, artists and thinkers – who wanted to make art and education accessible and affordable for all residents of the USA. Three private collections (174 pieces by classic European painters) were brought to the building located at 681 Fifth Avenue, and on February 20, 1872 the museum opened its doors for the public. It is since that time that the tradition of admitting to the museum almost free of charge has developed. There is price on the ticket, yet it does not mean that one has to pay it. The visitor may give any coin to the clerk. Thus, about 5 million visitors annually can examine all 20 departments with over two million art pieces for chump change. Since 1880, these artworks are displayed at 100 Fifth Avenue, in the part of the street called Museum Mile. However, the building has grown in length to almost half a kilometer.
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