Three tourists using a selfie stick for a group photo in Prague. Author Petar Milošević. Published according to Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International

Should UK museums ban selfie sticks?

Rebecca Atkinson, 20.02.2015
Vote in the poll and have your say
Museums across the world are reported to have banned selfie sticks, including the National Gallery in London, the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York and the National Portrait Gallery in Canberra.

A selfie stick is an extendable device that allows people to take a selfie photograph beyond the normal range of the arm.

Although many museums now allow personal photography in galleries, and have taken part in social media initiatives such as #museumselfie to encourage visitors to share their snaps, selfie sticks have been criticised in the media for being disruptive and potentially damaging works on display.

Should selfie sticks be banned in museums and galleries? Vote in the poll and have your say in the comment box below.


Should UK museums ban selfie sticks?


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David Fleming
MA Member
Director, National Museums Liverpool
20.02.2015, 10:10
I am not aware that there have been genuine problems, and as far as I can tell selfie sticks have helped introduce a new sense of fun into some museums and galleries. Banning selfie sticks has a whiff of snobbery about it.
Stephen Allen
MA Member
Head of Learning and Programmes, National Museums Scotland
24.02.2015, 08:18
As my mum would say.... careful, you'll have someone's eye out with one of those things.
Sally Hawley
MA Member
Collections Officer, National Football Museum
20.02.2015, 11:20
I am a Collections Officer and have preventative conservation and increasing access at the heart of my job. I can see both sides therefore, but I think banning them outright is a step too far. It should surely be up to the institution to decide if it is safe for their collections and be sensible, maybe asking visitors not to use them in a certain exhibition for example if artworks were on open display. I agree with David that they install a sense of fun into some museums and galleries and why wouldn't you want people to enjoy their time and then share their selfies on social media to tell all their friends? Embracing new trends where possible is the way forward (in my opinion) and will win the votes of your users as you will be creating opportunities for enjoyment and learning in a current way.