"Time Magazine" called this artificial arm extension for photography so loved by tourists one of the 25 most important inventions of 2014. However, for many museums the so called selfie sticks are an eyesore.
Whether at Cologne's cathedral square, in front of Berlin's Brandenburg Gate or Neuschwanstein Castle in the Bavarian Alps - wherever the tourists roam the selfie-stick pervades. With the assistance of an artificial arm extension tourists can snap even better self-portraits on their smartphones, and dealers now peddle sales of the sticks directly at major tourist sights.
However, many exhibition centers around the world perceive this development with a critical eye. Many fear that - at sometimes more than a meter in length - the sticks could potentially damage artworks and injure visitors. In Berlin's National Museums, under the terms of admission, the rods are prohibited - and they are similarly forbidden in Bavaria's State Art Galleries. "All pointed objects are forbidden, even an umbrella," spokeswoman Tine Nehler said in Munich.
There is, however, no uniform international approach to the selfie-stick in galleries and museums. In the United States dozens of museums, including the Museum of Modern Art in New York, have banned the use of the instruments. Similarly, they are not permitted in Florence's Uffizi Gallery in Italy. However, the Louvre in Paris - along with most of London's leading museums - allows patrons to use the instruments.
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