- Associated Press - Friday, February 6, 2015

WASHINGTON (AP) - Millions of visitors to museums on the National Mall may soon have to leave their selfie sticks at home.

The Smithsonian’s Hirshhorn Museum this week banned selfie sticks, which are hand-held camera mounts for self-portraits. The National Gallery of Art plans to formally ban selfie sticks next week and already doesn’t allow bags or extra photo equipment. The move follows similar bans in New York museums.

Hirshhorn spokeswoman Kelly Carnes said Friday the policy is meant to protect artwork and visitors from potential harm.

Smithsonian museums already ban tripods and camera stands. No problems have been reported due to selfie sticks.

Smithsonian spokeswoman Linda St. Thomas says officials plan to develop a Smithsonian-wide policy on selfie sticks. She says art museums are always more concerned about photography and photo equipment.

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