Last updated: 11:34 AM ET, Fri March 13 2015

Museums Banning Selfie Sticks Over Concerns About Safety

Destination & Tourism | Donald Wood | March 13, 2015

Museums Banning Selfie Sticks Over Concerns About Safety

Taking photographs at the top museums and art galleries in the world is something most visitors do, but for those looking to use a selfie stick to take that perfect snapshot posing in front of your favorite piece of art, think again.

According to Katia Hetter of, several major museums and institutions have posted a ban on the selfie stick, including London's National Gallery, the Smithsonian Institution in Washington D.C. and New York's Museum of Modern Art.

The concern from museums is that the users of the selfie sticks are not only becoming a nuisance to the people around them by swinging a metal or plastic rod through the air, but the devices could also damage the artwork if not handled correctly.

Mar Dixon is the creator of the Museum Selfie Day sensation, and even he agrees with the ban on selfie sticks at top museums, according to an email he sent to

“I'm all for photos in museums as that is a memory -- a personal memory -- of your visit. There is also a risk, while lining up your shot with a selfie stuck inside a museum or gallery, of knocking other people around you or worse, the art. Selfie sticks are brilliant, don't get me wrong, but not inside museums and galleries. Outside and for other attractions they are perfect!”

For those tourists who don’t understand the craze of taking selfies in museums, take a look at Sesame Street star Cookie Monster taking a selfie, via Fraser McDonald of Canada Science and Technology Museums Corp:

There are some museums that do not allow photography at all, and visitors must know the rules of each facility they visit beforehand. For travelers still determined to get the perfect selfie in front of a piece of art, simply holding the phone for a traditional selfie works just fine.

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