Washington's Smithsonian museums ban selfie sticks

A woman taking a photo using a selfie stick. Washington's top museums say selfie sticks are banned, in a growing trend among visitor centres in the United States to outlaw the devices. -- PHOTO: REUTERS
A woman taking a photo using a selfie stick. Washington's top museums say selfie sticks are banned, in a growing trend among visitor centres in the United States to outlaw the devices. -- PHOTO: REUTERS

WASHINGTON (AFP) - They have taken the dubious art of the selfie to a whole new level.

But now - in what will be a relief to some and derided by others - Washington's top museums say selfie sticks are banned, in a growing trend among visitor centres in the United States to outlaw the devices.

"For the safety of our visitors and collections, the Smithsonian prohibits the use of tripods or monopods in our museums and gardens.

"Effective today, March 3, monopod selfie sticks are included in this policy," the Smithsonian said in a statement.

"This is a preventive measure to protect visitors and objects, especially during crowded conditions. We encourage museum visitors to take selfies and share their experiences - and leave the selfie sticks in their bags."

The Smithsonian consists of 19 world-class museums and galleries, drawing tens of millions of visitors a year.