- Associated Press - Tuesday, March 3, 2015

WASHINGTON (AP) - Cameras and pictures are allowed, but selfie sticks are now banned at the Smithsonian museums.

The Smithsonian Institution issued a new policy Tuesday saying the use of selfie sticks is now prohibited, along with tripods and monopods in museums and gardens. Selfie sticks are handheld camera mounts for self-portraits.

Smithsonian officials say this is a preventative measure to protect visitors and museum objects - especially when museums are crowded with thousands of visitors.

In a statement, the Smithsonian says the museums encourage visitors to take selfies and share their experiences. But they should leave their selfie sticks in their bags.

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