February 13, 2015 1:29 pm
Updated: February 13, 2015 9:08 pm

AGO mulls banning selfie sticks


WATCH: Many U.S. galleries and museums have banned selfie sticks. Mark Caracsole reports that the AGO may follow suit.

TORONTO – You may have lost the opportunity to get that perfect selfie in front of a classic Canadian painting by Emily Carr or Tom Thomson. The Art Gallery of Ontario might ban selfie sticks.

Not because they’re an offense to artistic expression – but because large items are frequently banned from the gallery.

“We’re currently examining them in light of our existing policy about banned items,” Caitlin Coull, a communications manager at the AGO said in an email Friday.

“Large items are often banned from gallery spaces for the safety of artwork and visitors, but we have not yet made a decision about selfie sticks specifically.”

The review may lump selfie sticks in with tripod and monopods, which are banned at the gallery as it increases the chance of the artwork, some of which is not behind glass, getting damaged.

The Royal Ontario Museum does not currently prohibit the photographic tool.

The AGO would be following the lead of several international museums including the Museum of Modern Art in New York City and the Metropolitan Meseum of Art.

Sree Sreenivasan, the chief digital officer at the Metropolitan Museum of Art told Mashable that he is “pro-selfie, just not pro-selfie stick.”

The National Gallery of Art in Washington D.C. also banned the sticks, as it does “anything that might swing around.”

“We ask people to check them at the coat room. It’s about safety of the art, and in a crowded situation, safety of visitors,” Deborah Ziska, a spokesperson for the gallery told The Washington Post.

Taking selfies at a museum or gallery is a surprisingly popular thing to do with #MuseumSelfie day encouraging people to take the selfie – with or without a stick – at a local museum.

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