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New "Holiday Mondays" to Begin at Metropolitan Museum This Fall

Galleries, Exhibitions to Open on Columbus Day and Other Monday Holidays For First Time Since '70s

(New York, September 10, 2003) -- Philippe de Montebello, Director of The Metropolitan Museum of Art, announced today that, for the first time in three decades, the Museum will open its doors to the public this fall, winter, and spring on major Monday holidays: October 13 (Columbus Day), December 29 (the Monday between Christmas and New Year's Day), January 19 (Martin Luther King Jr. Day), February 16 (Presidents' Day), and May 31 (Memorial Day). The Museum has been closed to the public on Mondays for some 30 years.

The inaugural Monday in the new program – Columbus Day – will offer visitors an additional, and previously unscheduled, opportunity to view the eagerly anticipated new special international loan exhibition El Greco, which opens to the public October 7.

"Holiday Mondays provide an ideal – and, until now, unexplored – new opportunity for the Metropolitan Museum to serve the needs of both visitors to, and citizens of, our City," commented Philippe de Montebello. "Tourists who plan their trips to New York around three-day holiday weekends, together with local parents whose children are home from school on these special days, will now enjoy far more flexibility in scheduling visits to the Museum. By opening our special exhibitions and permanent collection on these Monday holidays, the Metropolitan hopes to make its galleries more accessible than ever to even the busiest visitors with the most limited time to enjoy them."

David E. McKinney, the Museum's President, added: "The 'Holiday Monday' program will add five new days to the Museum's public schedule during the current fiscal year, which ends next June 30. The Museum, which is initiating the program both to expand service to its audiences, and also to provide increased revenue opportunities during a challenging period budgetarily, will re-assess the program in early 2004. We hope it will resonate with the public and prove a major success story – with full promotion and marketing to support it. The Museum very much needs the effort to succeed after this period of lower national and international tourism, prolonged economic downturn, and a particularly difficult summer of heat waves, downpours, and even a blackout."

Among the special exhibitions that will be on view on Columbus Day in the Museum's main building are: El Greco;Hudson River School Visions: The Landscapes of Sanford R. Gifford; Crossing the Channel: British and French Painting in the Age of Romanticism; The Dawn of Photography: French Daguerreotypes, 1839-1855; and The Responsive Eye: Ralph T. Coe and the Collecting of American Indian Art.

The inauguration of Holiday Mondays will be of special interest to participants in this year's Columbus Day Parade, which is scheduled to end on 79th Street and Fifth Avenue, only blocks from the Museum's entrance. In recognition of the Columbus Day holiday, the Met's 16th-century painting Portrait of a Man, Said to be Christopher Columbus, by Sebastiano del Piombo, will be placed on view in the European Paintings Galleries on the Museum's second floor.

The Metropolitan's new public cafeteria and several of the Museum gift shops in the Main Building will be open on all Holiday Mondays.

A different selection of galleries and exhibitions will be open each Holiday Monday.


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