A holiday selling spree of selfie sticks may be dampened by a ban on the gadget at major U.S. museums, as well as some UK venues. In England, some Premier League soccer clubs flat-out fear the sticks could be used in a fight. The fear at the museums is more about unintentional violence.
Even before there were selfie sticks, museums have had run-ins with inattentive guests who damage the art. In 2010 at the Met, a woman taking an adult education class fell and put a six-inch tear into Pablo Picasso’s “The Actor.” In 2006, a guest with a loose shoelace fell down a staircase and “totally demolished” three Qing vases at the Fitzwilliam Museum in Cambridge, England. And the Milwaukee Art Museum 2006 annual report refers to “the unfortunate Martinifest event” when the bronze “Standing Woman” statue by Gaston Lachaise was groped and vomited upon during an after-hours $30 all-you-can-drink party.
Some museums have only recently adopted the policy, such as the Smithsonian’s Cooper-Hewitt, which reopened its doors in December after a three-year $91-million renovation. Others see it as an extension of long-standing policies: “We have never permitted visitors to take photos with camera-extension devices,” a MoMA spokeswoman said. “Tripods, selfie-sticks and other devices are not permitted.”
Selfie sticks, also called extension sticks, tend to be shorter than monopods, which are banned in many other museums, including the National Gallery of Art; the Dallas Museum of Art; Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art; the Rhode Island School of Design Museum; and the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum.
Most amusement parks already ban any loose items on their rides, including cameras and selfie sticks. At Six Flags amusement parks, for example, “they’re allowed in the park, they’re just not OK on the rides for safety reasons,” said Sandra Daniels, the vice president of communications at Six Flags Entertainment.
Rasheta said his company has been selling the sticks since 2010, long before the “selfie” became a thing. The company first called it a monopod and promoted it as a way to capture a unique angle or see over a lot of people, such as you might find at a museum. Without the selfie stick, museum-goers might once again be lost in the crowd. “That would be a bummer,” he said. Read more…