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Australia is banning selfie sticks from its museums

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Selfie sticks have been banned by some of Australia’s major exhibition centres due to fears of damage to artworks and visitor disruption.

Following a global trend of institutions preventing people from using selfie sticks, the Herald Sun reports that a number of Australian galleries have implemented similar policies.

The National Gallery of Victoria, the National Gallery of Australia in Canberra and the National Portrait Gallery have all banned the photo extension aids.

“Visitors are welcome to take photographs with handheld cameras in non-restricted areas of the gallery, for personal use,” National Gallery of Victoria director Tony Ellwood said.

“A handheld camera doesn’t include the use of selfie-sticks, tripods, lights or other equipment.”

A spokesperson for the National Portrait Gallery in Canberra told the Canberra Times: “We just can’t risk damage to the artworks.”

“Like our institutional counterparts, we do not allow selfie sticks due to the risk of damage to artworks and other patrons.”

The Heide Museum of Modern Art doesn’t allow flash photography or tripods and views selfie sticks as “a photographic implement” similar to these items.

News Corp reports some of London’s top music venues have enforced a ban on selfie sticks.

On the other hand, art fans should be safe: the National Gallery in London told Business Insider that it does not intend to issue a ban on sticks any time soon.

However, visitors need to be aware of not to put anything at risk when shooting a selfie: “Our staff are fully briefed and instructed to ensure we are striking the correct balance between visitor experience and the security and safety of works on display. Therefore they will use their discretion on a case by case basis in preventing photography which puts the safety of the collection at risk or obstructs other visitors,” a spokesperson from the Gallery told us. 

Here are some of the most interesting and inspired museum and gallery selfies we’ve found on Twitter.

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