Mayor Bloomberg had already amended the city's lease with the Metropolitan Museum of Art to clear up all the confusion about their "suggested donation" policy, but now a judge has made an official ruling so that everyone knows that it's real (no offense, Bloomberg). According to the New York Times, Judge Shirley Werner Kornreich ruled that the plaintiffs "cannot force the museum to abide by the terms of the lease in a manner that contravenes the express wishes of its landlord," referring to the museum's original lease and the 1893 law that provided state support for the institution and required that it provide free admission five days a week. Judge Kornreich held that "for those without means, or those who do not wish to express their gratitude financially, a de minimis contribution of a penny is accepted," adding that ending the suggested donation policy would jeopardize the future of the Met.

The allegations that museum signs and other information duped people into thinking that the fee is mandatory have yet to be decided, but for now The Met is in the clear.

[via NYTimes]