ASI bans selfie sticks at 46 site museums in India
In a move that will not click with selfie enthusiasts, the Archaeological Survey of India, under a new policy, has banned the use of selfie sticks at its 46 site museums across the country.
"Selfie sticks are strictly not permitted on the museum premises," states the Photography/ Filming Policy for the Archaeological Site Museums of the Archaeological Survey of India.
So, visitors to archaeological site museums like Taj Museum in Agra, the Indian War Memorial Museum in Delhi, Archaeological Museums in Konarak, Hampi and others across the country, have to tuck away their sticks in their bags if they want a glimpse of the artefacts on display.
Site museums are museums where the ASI keeps the small and movable antiquities, recovered from the ancient sites, in close association with the remains to which they belong. Such museums often close to the excavation site displays objects retrieved during site excavations, found during explorations, during scientific clearances and during conservation of monuments.
These objects generate a lot of academic and commercial interest because of their historical or archaeological significance to the site.
Sources in ASI say that the decision to exclude selfie sticks was taken to ensure the security of the artefacts as there have been instances of the sticks getting too close to them.
"Times are changing and at every site, there are people with mobile phones and taking pictures freely. There are people even shooting inside the monuments, so a decision was taken by the ASI to put in place some restrictions," said Dr K Lourdusamy, Director, ASI.
However, it is not just the selfie stick that has raised concerns among officials but also heavy equipment and accessories used for photography.
The policy has also said that while photography is open to the public in all the museums free of cost, but the catch is that they cannot use tripods, monopods or flashlights. In fact, visitors can only use existing museum lighting for their pictures.