The TrekEarth Forums

The TrekEarth Forums (
-   Photography (
-   -   Leave your cameras at home! (

dom_inik_m 09-27-2005 10:35 PM

Leave your cameras at home!
Photography will soon be completely outlawed in the Louvre. Starting on September 15, inside the first-floor rooms in the Denon wing (Italian, Spanish, and French paintings (including, of course, the brand new room sheltering the now infamous M*** L***... and financed by the generous sponsorship of Japanese corporations), the galerie d'Apollon and the top of the stairs leading to the Winged Victory of Samothrace.

To protect antique paintings from the devastating effect of repeated flash lights because the vast majority of amateur photographers don't know how to handle theirs cameras (if so, I propose to ban all automobiles, boats, trains and planes to be sure no one will ever die in an accident)?
To deter visitors from lingering in front of famous art works and capture a fragment of their own memories?
To channel the millions of anticipated new visitors, lured by the Da Vinci Code fame?
To sell more postcards and books?

In other words, are greed, stupid authoritarianism and cultural/political short-sightedness the sole guides to our everyday existence?
Whatever the answer may be, here is the essential sub-question: who's responsible for the intellectual property rights of art pieces in public museums?

Please follow the links (in French) for more details:
<a href="">P hotographier librement au Musée du Louvre</a>
<a href=""> Les photographies, le Louvre, notre patrimoine</a>
<a href="">Tu veux du Pop-corn avec ton Rembrandt ?</a>

And, to quote the Louvre Web site: Disappointed to leave Paris without a photo of the Mona Lisa? Don't worry! Most of the Louvre's 35,000 works can be viewed on the Web at:
Please note: The reproduction of images from this site is authorized for private use only.

The fight has only begun, I'm afraid...

markgong 09-28-2005 06:24 PM

Re: Leave your cameras at home!
Personally, I don't see what the big deal is. I think it is perfectly acceptable for the museum to ban cameras on the first floor, if the flashes on the cameras are damaging the paintings. Can you imagine what over 60 flashes a minute, spread over the course of year will do to a painting? Plus, taking a snapshot of the portrait doesn't do it justice anyways. Much rather buy a postcard or art print. Is taking a photo of the Mona Lisa really worth the destruction it will cause? Also most people go to view the painting not because they appreciate it as art, but rather as more of a cultural icon. Should these people be rewarded for their fan fare?

The art may belongs to everyone and that is why it should be openned to be displayed to the public. However, that right should not be abused by tourists who feel obligated to take a photo of the art, and by doing so damages the piece.

Homerhomer 09-28-2005 06:36 PM

Re: Leave your cameras at home!
I am in between on this one because I don't see a point of galleries banning taking pictures outright, yes there are some type of arts that can be damaged, ban cameras only in those rooms, but banning it in whole galleries is IMO stupid.
Have visited many musuems recently and the photography ban seems to be an increasing trend unfortunately, for example at Guggenheim photography is banned, I am just not sure how much damage can be done to a displayed print which was printed last week, and can be reprinted if needed.

dom_inik_m 09-28-2005 07:01 PM

There a huge difference...
between banning flash photography (which should be the norm) and banning photography altogether!

Besides, the main reason for all this is not the risk for paintings (flashes have always been forbidden inside the Louvre, but museum attendants didn't seem to care anymore...).
With 4.5 million visitors per year (and 7 expected soon), it has been decided that too many visitors linger for too long in front of the most famous art works, especially when you're dealing with groups of Japanese and Chnese tourists eager to take some souvenir shots. So, things are to move on quicker.
The next step being an electric train, as in Disneyland, moving from one room to another, allowing people on board to make an extensive tour of the museum in 2 hours sharp?
Or make all visitors carry an alarm clock around their neck, which'll ring after 30 seconds standing motionless looking at a statue or a painting, with two bulky attendants throwing the culprit out to teach him how to behave in such a place?
Well, if this is what you want...

sohrab 09-28-2005 07:11 PM

Re: There a huge difference...
mark.. there are lots of monasteries in the region of ladakh in india which are homes to lots of buddhist treasures including paintings, murals and so on..
you're not allowed to use a flash.. as they might damage the paintings etc..
but photography isn't banned altogether..

markgong 09-28-2005 07:26 PM

Re: There a huge difference...
The problem is that the majority camera carrying tourists and visitors do no know how to turn off their flashes. If what is done is for the sake of preservation, then I am completely for it. In the case of the louvre where you get millions of visitors who want to see Mona Lisa and only a small minority of them know how to control the flash settings, I believe it is reasonable to prohibit photography to a limited degree. I would love to take photos in the Louvre or any other exhibitions, but it definately won't kill me or trouble me that much if banning it out right saves the painting from unexperienced photographers. Afterall, I like to take photos of people and situations, not stil life. ;)

Luko 09-28-2005 07:31 PM

Re: There a huge difference...
I agree with almost everybody, except Mark, here (sorry Mark) : flash photo should be banned in museums while quieter photography allowed. This is the norm at Beaubourg CNAC for instance (though it might have changed, a long time I didn't go there)... I would be really pained if they extend their ban to the egyptian area and greek and roman statues galleries (the best areas for museum photo IMHO).

On the other hand, I'm afraid moaning and grining now won't help, thanks to the too many french grouches. Too many people have moaned for peanuts like bringing a tripod into the museum (a pity you can't read french, some stories of the links are simply pathetic : a guy writes the whole mejilla because he can't bring his tripod, complains why HE didn't get a rational explanation taht would convince him not to bring his tripod and the full monty that goes behind. If it were me, such ballbreaker wouldn't just be allowed to enter the museum.), forbidding tripods is perfectly understandable, although some professional grouches have already complained. Anyway photographying with a tripod is already forbidden in Paris streets.

Then I'm afraid any additionnal plea will go directly to the trash bin where already belongs the grouch plaints. Another smart thing would be not to mix up rampant USphobia, Disneyland, anticapitalism and so on... the point is that photo without flash is on the verge of being banned in the Louvre. That's the sad news.


dom_inik_m 09-28-2005 07:41 PM

Not on the verge...
Photography has already started being banned in the Louvre, since what's happening now are only the first steps towards a full ban.
The museum experience to be: buy your ticket, see, be happy, buy postcards and come back in numbers. Nothing else...

Homerhomer 09-28-2005 07:59 PM

Re: There a huge difference...
"between banning flash photography (which should be the norm) and banning photography altogether!

Besides, the main reason for all this is not the risk for paintings (flashes have always been forbidden inside the Louvre, but museum attendants didn't seem to care anymore...). "

why didn't they care anymore? because the flash was fired off so many time that it would take the whole army to controll it. I personally don't remember one visit to the musuem where someone wouldn't fire off their flash, Mark has a point, many of the visitors don't know how to turn it off from their cameras and we all pay the price for it.

I can live with photography ban in areas of the gallery because it's impossible to control everyone, and there will be flash fired off as long as pressing the shutter is allowed, but it is a shame that many places extend it to the whole musuems, greek statues or some modern art made of plastic won't suffer even if an occassional flash is fired off.

markgong 09-28-2005 08:42 PM

Re: Not on the verge...
I understand your plight with the banning of photography, and seeing this as putting a strain on one's artistic expressoin, but I think that the ban would have benefits as well. Rather than looking through the viewfinder or LCD to frame the photo right, or spend time fumbling with one's camera, perhaps the visitor will instead spend more time viewing the paintings and art pieces giving the attention it deserves. Plus, let us not forget that a photo of a piece of art is only a lesser copy of the original. Also, if one makes a case for street photography inside the museum because it is interesting, then I would challenge that person to find beauty and unique photos at a place that does not lend it self to be photographed.

All times are GMT. The time now is 08:28 PM.

Copyright © 2018 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.