Entertainment & Arts

Royal Academy offers free entry for under 12s

Royal Academy of Arts
Image caption The Royal Academy will open a Manet exhibition on 26 January

The Royal Academy of Arts (RA) in London is to give children under 12 years of age free entry to all its exhibitions.

The institution said the decision was to ensure it welcomed "the widest possible audience" to visit and see its exhibitions.

Previously, entry was free for those under seven and children aged 8-11 were charged £3-£4 depending on the exhibit.

The change will be come into force with immediate effect.

Kids in Museums - a charity dedicated to making museums welcoming to families - said it was "a huge and very important step".

"It's fantastic the Royal Academy has made it clear that children are important to them by letting them in for free," director Dea Birkett said.

"It will encourage more children to visit the exhibitions and take part in the events, giving them experiences and opportunities that may last a lifetime.

She added: "If all established, prestigious institutions took such steps, children's lives would be richer."

The RA's secretary and chief executive, Charles Saumarez Smith, said: "The decision to give children free access is a further step in our commitment to welcoming the widest possible audience to see our exhibitions and to visit the academy."

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