- The Washington Times - Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Nearly three weeks after President Obama goofily posed in front of a selfie stick for BuzzFeed, the Smithsonian Institution has announced it’s banning the handheld monopods at all 19 of its museums and gardens.

“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,” the Smithsonian said in a statement Tuesday.

Smithsonian officials say the is a preventive measure meant 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 statement said.

A selfie stick is a handheld device that allows users to take self-portraits.

On Feb. 12, the president appeared in a lighthearted Buzzfeed video promoting Obamacare, in which he was shown taking several photos of himself using a selfie stick.

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