The National Gallery in London prohibits selfie sticks, tripods, monopods and use of flash

The news comes a month after Amateur Photographer (AP) quizzed several UK museums, two of which – the National Media Museum and V&A – did not rule out a future ban as part of ongoing policy reviews.

Selfie sticks have already been outlawed at some of New York’s famous museums, including the Museum of Modern Art, according to reports in the United States.

The National Gallery, which is based in London, said in a statement: ‘Photography is allowed for personal, non-commercial purposes at the National Gallery – however, there are a few exceptions in order to protect paintings, copyright of loans, individual privacy and the overall visitor experience.

‘Therefore, the use of flash and tripods is not permitted.’

A National Gallery spokeswoman confirmed separately that, under this policy, selfie sticks fall under the definition of a ‘tripod’, as do monopods.

man taking a selfie in front of the Big Ben in London, United Kingdom, with a filter effect

[Photo credit: iStock/nito100]

The earlier statement added: ‘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.

‘Therefore, they will use their discretion on a case-by-case basis in preventing photography that puts the safety of the collection at risk or obstructs other visitors.’

In February, a spokesman for the Bradford-based National Media Museum told AP: ‘We constantly assess any risks to our exhibits and visitors, and at present selfie sticks are not considered a problem.’

The V&A did not rule out a future change in policy on selfie sticks either, saying: ‘All policies relating to the safety of the V&A’s visitors and collections are reviewed on an ongoing basis.’


 Inside the National Gallery