You can bring your camera to see the art, but leave that selfie stick at home

Aug 5, 2019

If you're planning a trip to one of the world's most popular museums, don't even think about bringing your "selfie stick."

The Smithsonian, with its 19 museums in Washington, DC, is the latest museum to ban the extendable rods; the organization says they're a danger to the exhibits and to other visitors The Museum of Modern Art in New York and the National Gallery of Australia in Canberra are also barring selfie sticks.

Security guards at the Louvre in Paris are already starting to ask visitors to put away their sticks, and a formal ban is in the works for the Versailles Palace and Centre Pompidou.

That may anger some tourists, but photographer Tony D'Orio says good riddance. 

"You've got an object of weight, 3 to 3 1/2 feet away from you, swinging around," he says. And they're not just dangerous — they're obnoxious. "Your presence or your validation of your presence at that museum trumps the tactile experience that you have with the art? Then you become subservient to a thumb-up or a heart, instead of taking in this experience."

From PRI's The World ©2019 PRI