PARIS Selfie sticks have been banned at a French palace and a British museum, which join a growing list of tourist attractions around the world – including here in Detroit – in taking such action.
The devices are used to enhance snapshots, but critics say they’re unpleasant and potentially dangerous. Officials at the Palace of Versailles outside Paris and Britain’s National Gallery in London announced the bans on Wednesday, saying they needed to protect visitors and works of art.
The Detroit Institute of Arts bans selfie sticks, as do the Art Institute of Chicago, the Museum of Modern Art in New York and the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
In Washington, the Smithsonian Museums last week banned selfie sticks, tripods and monopods in an effort to protect visitors and museum artifacts.
Here are some other places where selfie sticks aren’t welcome:
The Museed’Orsay, which houses a collection of impressionist art, prohibits not only selfie sticks, but all photography of any kind.
Unlike Orsay and Versailles, the Louvre and Center Georges Pompidou art museums have not banned selfie sticks — Again.
Le Pompidou – the contemporary art museum whose exterior of colorful tubes and scaffolding resembles an upside-down building – is studying what, if anything, to do about the phenomenon, the newspaper Le World.
The Colosseum in Rome banned selfie sticks last month, both for items on display inside and for the 16,000 daily visitors to the 2,000-year-old monument.
“Whirling hundreds of sticks can become unintentionally dangerous,” spokesman Christiano Brughitta said.
Two Californian tourists were arrested last week after carving their names on the wall of the Colosseum and then taking a picture with a selfie stick.
Besides the National Gallery, some English football teams have banned selfie sticks from their stadiums.
The National Portrait Gallery, adjacent to the National Gallery, says sticks are permitted but “anything that may prove disruptive is under continuous review”. The British Museum is “reviewing” its policy on selfie sticks.
Some art lovers have praised the idea of a ban.
“If you enter an exhibition, surely the goal is to see what is on display and not to take countless pictures of yourself?” said Bill Doig, a retired doctor visiting the National Portrait Gallery.
Soccer stadiums in the South American country have also banned selfie sticks over their potential use as weapons in fights between rival fans, police say. Selfie sticks were also banned during recent Brazilian Carnival parades in Rio de Janeiro.
Vienna’s Albertina, one of the city’s top art museums, has banned selfie sticks. If visitors bring them anyway, museum spokeswoman Sarah Wulbrandt says they can check in their sticks before entering.