A miniature statue of a 5th Century Greek boy? Sure. It’s right by gate 124.

Met I've seen some questionable business decisions in my life, but none quite as perplexing as the sight of a Metropolitan Museum of Art Store right smack in the middle of Terminal C at Newark's Liberty International Airport.

The store features everything from Egyptian cat bookmarks (now there's a perfect stocking stuffer) to busts and miniatures of ancient heroes ('Honey, let's pick up that figurine of Herodotus before we board.'). There are also books on Cleopatra and 2010 calendars featuring the works of Monet and Winslow Homer.

And, of course, the store is completely deserted.

I like to think I appreciate finer things in life and I really enjoyed strolling through the Classic artifacts and facsimiles thereof. But, an art store at Newark? That's like having a Bentley dealership in South Central L.A. It's laudable, but makes no sense whatsoever from an image, reputation or target audience standpoint.

The average Newark Airport visitor appears to be harried, hurried and much more interested in a quick Sbarro pizza slice than a Degas pastel of some South Sea island.

I'm not sure what Met executive made the daffy decision to situate a high-end boutique in the midst of a déclassé thoroughfare like Terminal C, but I'm guessing his or her career will soon be experiencing its own version of 476 AD.

6 thoughts on “A miniature statue of a 5th Century Greek boy? Sure. It’s right by gate 124.

  1. I suppose so, Carl. But, the Met Museum store at Newark Airport resembled an Old West ghost town. The only thing missing was the tumbleweed.

  2. I think it is actually a good idea to put these stores in airports. JFK has a Met Museum store and it saved me from a gift giving hole that I found myself in. Busy travellers want to bring back ‘something from New York’ and what better than something a little bit different – at least different to one of those ‘I heart NY’ T-shirts. Harrods has set up stores at Heathrow and like the Met Museum store, it charges and exorbitant amount for small items that come in that all-important branded gift bag.

  3. Is the bust of Caligula duty-free to travelers arriving from foreign countries…or must they pay VAT tax?
    Seriously, maybe the MET is using this “annex” to entice arriving travelers to visit the museum on the upper east side? Although the last time I was there, attendance seemed very healthy.
    To salvage this disaster, I would change the displays: I’d leave the statues, bookends and calendars at the museum, and showcase the replica jewelry, umbrellas and tote bags.
    At least then they’d have a chance at landing a sale on arrival, while visitors can boast to the folks back home that they went to the world-famous MET Museum…in Terminal C.

  4. Thanks Lunch. Monday’s game will be telling for the Jets. Borrowing a page from classic literature, I wonder if they’ll rise up like the 300 Spartans or be ravaged, instead, like the armies of ancient Troy?

  5. don’t you mean “purrfect” stocking stuffer? so lame, i know. been a long week. good luck to your Jets and their brand new problem child!