The Smithsonian’s Hirshhorn Museum in Washington, D.C., has banned “selfie sticks,” following the lead of several New York City museums.
The sticks, hand-held camera mounts for self-portrait selfies that museum-goers use to capture themselves in front of artwork, have become an increasing nuisance. Hirshhorn spokeswoman Kelly Carnes said the new policy is meant to protect the artwork from potential harm, but also to make touring the museum easier.
The National Gallery of Art plans to formally ban selfie sticks next week and already doesn’t allow bags or extra photo equipment.
Several NYC museums, including the Museum of Modern Art, the Cooper-Hewitt and the Smithsonian Design Museum, this week banned the sticks.
“You can, just by looking at this, imagine the havoc a selfie stick might wreak in this kind of space,” Jennifer Northrup of the Cooper-Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum, told CBS New York.
“They could pose a danger to visitors or our objects on view,” Northrup said.
CBS quoted one museum-goer, Andrew DeLango, saying he “nervously watched a man use a selfie stick inches away from a dinosaur exhibit.”
” ‘He could have knocked everything down, he could have been taking a selfie, then he hits one of the ribs,’ DeLango said.