Selfie sticks face museum and sports events ban

Selfie sticks face museum and sports events ban
Someone using a selfie stick, which has faced bans in Chicago and other parts of the world. (Photo: elPadawan/Flickr under CC)

The All England Lawn and Tennis Club, the organizers of the Wimbledon tennis tournament in the UK, have said they are banning selfie sticks being brought onto the grounds.

The All England Lawn and Tennis Club has banned selfie sticks. Above: Centre Court at Wimbledon. (Photo: Albert Lee/Wikimedia Commons under CC)

The All England Lawn and Tennis Club has banned selfie sticks. Above: Centre Court at Wimbledon. (Photo: Albert Lee/Wikimedia Commons under CC)

All England Club spokesman Johnny Perkins, reached by telephone, confirmed the ban, which was reported by the BBC and the Sunday Times newspaper.

Perkins said it was new for this year, and it had been outlined in the conditions in tickets bought for the matches, which begin June 29th.

The move by the All England Club came just after the National Gallery in London announced a similar ban. A spokesperson for the Gallery, in an emailed statement, said while the Gallery allowed photography, the ban was in place to protect visitors, as well as paintings.

“Our Gallery Assistants and Visitor facing 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,” the spokesperson said. “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.”

Selfies have been popular on various social media platforms, including Twitter and Instagram. However, selfie sticks, have grown to be controversial. The ban on selfie sticks in the UK also extends to several English Premier League soccer teams, including Tottenham Hotspur in London.

Several art galleries in the United States also ban selfie sticks, including the National Portrait Gallery, part of the network of Smithsonian museums. Reached by telephone, Ellie Skochdopole, a spokeswoman for the Portrait Gallery, said the ban, which began March 3rd, was in place to ensure no artwork was damaged.

Yet, Skochdopole says, selfies taken by other means are still encouraged.

“We want people to celebrate our museums,” Skochdopole said.

Bans are also in place in museums like the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, the Museum of Metropolitan Art in New York and the Getty museum in Los Angeles, according to this report from Britain’s Daily Telegraph newspaper.

Someone using a selfie stick, which has faced bans in Chicago and other parts of the world. (Photo: elPadawan/Flickr under CC)

Someone using a selfie stick, which has faced bans in Chicago and other parts of the world.
(Photo: elPadawan/Flickr under CC)

In Chicago, there are some similar selfie stick bans. Reached by telephone, Rebecca Baldwin, a spokeswoman for the Art Institute, said a ban had been in place since January, saying the sticks would pose a risk to visitors and the artwork. Yet, Baldwin said the Institute encouraged photo taking.

“We are vocal about inviting taking photos,” Baldwin said. “Photos and selfies are encouraged. They can be taken in any part of the museum unless an exception is raised.” Baldwin added that the museum allowed photos in all areas during the current exhibition about Ireland.

Messages left with the Field Museum and the Shedd Aquarium seeking comment were not returned before posting. Lisa Miner, a spokeswoman for the Museum of Science and Industry, said the Museum did not have a policy on selfie sticks and they were welcomed.

It is unclear how far any selfie stick bans apply to sports in Chicago. Messages left with the United Center, which houses the Bulls and the Blackhawks, as well as with a spokesman for the Cubs were not returned before posting. A spokesperson for the Chicago Bears said the team did not have a selfie stick ban in place. A spokesperson for the White Sox, reached by telephone, confirmed the team had a selfie stick ban in place.

Editor’s note: This post was amended at 9:09am CT on April 28 to reflect the statement from the Bears, and a correction regarding the National Portrait Gallery.

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