Visitors to China’s Palace Museum in Beijing will be stopped from using selfie sticks in crowded exhibition halls, as the nation’s preeminent museum fears the photo-taking device could cause damage to its invaluable collection. A director of the museum, more widely known as the Forbidden City – the former imperial palace – told local newspapers the monopod, which can be extended to up to one metre, is dangerous to both the antiques on display and other visitors. “Our staff will stop visitors using such devices when necessary,” the director told Beijing Times and Beijing Morning Post . Visitors can still bring such devices into the exhibition halls, because the museum and the cultural heritage authority have yet to introduce any blanket ban. However, visitors are being urged not to take selfies using the sticks during exhibition, especially when they are part of a crowd or close to the antiques, the Beijing Morning Post quoted an official from Beijing Municipal Administration of Cultural Heritage as saying. The handheld Bluetooth monopod, which enables people to take self-portrait photographs at different angles, has become increasingly popular among smartphone users. However, officials at museums and tourist attractions around the world are not huge fans of the wireless devices. London’s National Gallery recently joined several other museums, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, and the National Gallery of Art, in Washington, in introducing a ban on people using selfie sticks, the Agence France-Presse news agency reported. South Korea has also banned the sale of unregistered selfie sticks, over fears that they could cause a disruption to other devices using the same radio frequency to provide a wireless link. Anyone found to have violated the ban could face a fine of up to US$27,000 fine or a prison sentence of up to three years, the country’s Science Ministry announced last year.