Museums say no to selfie sticks in bid to protect exhibits (and humans)

now even nikon is getting into the selfie stick game
Aleksandar Stojkovic / Shutterstock
If you’ve been thinking about heading to New York City’s Museum of Modern Art with the intention of using your selfie stick to grab a shot alongside Pollock’s One: Number 31, 1950, forget it – articulated monopods are now banned.

And MOMA isn’t the only one that’s saying no to the smartphone-wielding sticks. An increasing number of museums and galleries across the U.S. have been putting bans in place, among them New York’s Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum; Boston’s Museum of Fine Arts; DC’s National Gallery of Art; and the Getty Center in Los Angeles.

While there are fears among some museum managers that a spot of reckless selfie-stick handling might lead to someone’s eye being taken out, their primary concern appears to be that a wrong move with stick in hand might could result in the wrecking of a priceless exhibit as you attempt to secure your special shot.

Many museums already ask visitors to leave items such as backpacks, tripods, and umbrellas at the entrance, so the selfie stick ban will seem like a reasonable rule to many visitors.

Deborah Ziska of the National Gallery of Art told the Washington Post it asks visitors to hand over “anything that might swing around. It’s about safety of the art, and in a crowded situation, safety of visitors.”

And it’s not just museums and galleries that are imposing bans on the devices. Major soccer teams in the UK – Arsenal and Tottenham among them – are also stopping fans from taking selfie sticks into sports grounds, considering them a risk to public safety.

The sticks, hugely popular with smartphone snappers in Asia, have taken a while to catch on in the U.S. and Europe, but the action taken by museums and galleries is a clear indication of their growing popularity.

Are you a regular selfie-stick user disappointed by the museum bans? Or are you feeling a tingle of happiness with the thought that the device could already be well on its way to global extinction? Let us know in the comments below.

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