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For the safety of their visitors, Washington's Smithsonian museums ban selfie sticks
Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. Photo: Smithsonian.

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 centers 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," 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 visitors a year.

© 1994-2015 Agence France-Presse

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