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Metropolitan Museum Opens Galleries, Exhibitions for Presidents' Day, February 16

(New York, February 4, 2004) - The Metropolitan Museum of Art's recently inaugurated and highly popular "Holiday Mondays" program will continue February 16 with the opening of the Museum's galleries and exhibitions to the public on Presidents' Day.

"The public response to our series of Holiday Mondays has been enthusiastic," commented Philippe de Montebello, Director of the Metropolitan Museum. "Indeed, we have been gratified to discover that children - many of whom are familiar with the Met because of visits with their schools - are now suggesting the Museum as a family destination for holiday weekends."

Open for viewing on February 16 will be the newly renovated Old Kingdom tombs of Perneb and Raemkai, and the special exhibitions Chuck Close Prints: Process and Collaboration; Chocolate, Coffee, Tea; Echoing Images: Couples in African Sculpture; Playing with Fire: European Terracotta Models, 1740-1840; and Poets, Lovers, and Heroes in Italian Mythological Prints. Of special interest on Presidents' Day will be several portraits of George Washington on view in The American Wing.

Family greeters in red aprons will be present in the Museum's Great Hall to direct families to areas of particular interest. Also available on Holiday Monday, for families with children under 12, is a 2-for-1 Audio Guide rental offer. With each rental of the Audio Guide ($6 general, $5 member, $4 child), the rental of one guide for a child under 12 is free. In addition to some 1200 audio messages about works of art located throughout the Museum, the Audio Guide also includes 100 audio messages specifically designed for children ages 6 to 12.

The Audio Guide program is sponsored by Bloomberg.

The Metropolitan's new public cafeteria and several Museum shops in the main building will be open, as on all Holiday Mondays. A different selection of galleries and exhibitions is open on each Holiday Monday. The Museum, which had been closed to the public on Mondays for some 30 years, is opening the doors of its main building this spring on two additional major Monday holidays: May 31 (Memorial Day) and July 5. The initial Holiday Mondays were Columbus Day, December 29, and Martin Luther King Jr. Day. To date, nearly 40,000 visitors have attended Holiday Mondays at the Metropolitan Museum.

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