Australia’s iconic Sydney Opera House has joined the list of global cultural institutions to crack down on the use of the selfie stick by tourists. A spokeswoman for the Sydney Opera House, the most instagrammed site in Australia 2014, confirmed taking photos during performances is “strongly discouraged”.
However, visitors are permitted to take “selfies” outside the Sydney landmark and within the building’s foyer. Selfies are encouraged by Opera Australia during the interval but they can only be done at arm’s length, not with a selfie stick, Sydney Morning Herald reported.
“In fact, for our summer and Vivid campaigns this year, we produced precinct maps highlighting the Opera House’s best selfie spots,” she said. Selfie sticks are said to be a common sight on the steps of the Sydney Opera House, that recently came 13th on a global list of Top Selfie Sites.
“I love that people want to share their opera experience with their friends by taking selfies, with or without a stick. It’s a fantastic way for us to reach potential new audiences. “I’m more than happy for audience members to do that before the opera begins or at interval, but not during the production when it could disturb performers or other patrons,” said Lyndon Terracini, artistic director of Opera Australia.
Australia’s National Gallery of Victoria in Melbourne, the National Portrait Gallery, and the National Gallery of Australia in Canberra have all banned the telescopic attachment camera, also known as the “wand of Narcissus.” The Sydney Opera House is one of the most photographed buildings in the world, according to Encyclopedia Britannica.
Each year, 8.2 million people visit the site, with thousands of tourists snapping a photo of themselves and instantly posting it on social media sites.