Tourist Spots Ban Selfie Sticks

May 11, 2015

Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article. 

1. premises /ˈprɛməsəz/ (n.) – a building and the area surrounding it
Example: Guards surround the premises of the palace.

2. knock over /nɒk oʊ vər/ (v.) – to cause something to fall to the ground by striking
Example: The kid running around the shop knocked over a vase.

3. traffic /ˈtræf ɪk/ (n.) – the flow of people or objects
Example: Heavy road traffic causes delays.

4. interact /ˌɪn tərˈækt/ (v.) – to act on each other; to talk or do things with another person or object
Example: People can interact with the robot.

5. contemplation /ˌkɒn təmˈpleɪ ʃən/ (n.) – the act of deep reflection or observation
Example: Some painters practice contemplation before starting their work.


Read the text below.
Tourist spots, such as palaces and museums, around the world are banning guests from using selfie sticks.

The most recent addition to the list is the Versailles [ver-SAHY] Palace in France, one of the most visited tourist spots in the world. Palace guards now ask tourists entering the premises to leave their selfie sticks.

In recent months, museums including New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art and London’s National Gallery also started to ban the device for security purposes. Apparently, the stick puts artworks at risk of being scratched or knocked over. The stick can also injure people especially when the visitor traffic gets heavy, said officials of Washington’s Smithsonian, the world’s largest museum complex.

Other tourist spots that ban the use of selfie sticks are Rome's Colosseum [kol-uh-SEE-uh m], Vienna's Albertina, the Art Institute of Chicago, the Detroit Institute of Arts, and some soccer stadiums in Brazil.

Some people, however, think this is a bad idea. Rachel Hyman [HAHY-muh n], a museumgoer from Chicago, said selfie sticks are people’s way of interacting with art. If museums want to have more visitors, they should not stop tourists from taking photos.

On the other hand, art critic Jonathan Jones disapproves of attracting more visitors at the risk of losing the value of a museum. More than the physical danger of selfie sticks, he thinks that people lose the spiritual experience of looking at art. Appreciating art requires contemplation. When one is busy taking a selfie in front of a painting, the experience is lost. Jones also believes that museums should not be treated as theme parks or playgrounds; thus, they should have stricter rules.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.  

Discussion A

·         Do you agree with the banning of selfie sticks in tourist spots? Please explain your answer.
·         Whose argument do you find stronger: Hayman’s or Jones’s?

Discussion B

·         What importance do museums have?
·         How can younger people be encouraged to visit museums?

May 11, 2015