The Metropolitan Museum of Art (Met) was founded in 1870, for the purpose of establishing and maintaining in New York City a Museum and library of art, of encouraging and developing the study of the fine arts, and the application of arts to manufacture and practical life, of advancing the general knowledge of kindred subjects, and, to that end, of furnishing popular instruction. The Met has since become the preeminent cultural institution in the Western Hemisphere, serving a public that extends far beyond New York City to all the United States and the world. As New York's premier tourist attraction, with nearly 4.7 million annual out of town visitors, the Museum serves all ages, from pre-school to senior citizens, and maintains a broad range of community and educational programs.
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