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  #1  
Old 09-27-2005, 11:35 PM
dom_inik_m dom_inik_m is offline
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Default 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?
To...?

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:
P hotographier librement au Musιe du Louvre
Les photographies, le Louvre, notre patrimoine
Tu veux du Pop-corn avec ton Rembrandt ?

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: http://cartelfr.louvre.fr
Please note: The reproduction of images from this site is authorized for private use only.


The fight has only begun, I'm afraid...
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  #2  
Old 09-28-2005, 07:24 PM
markgong markgong is offline
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Default 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.
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  #3  
Old 09-28-2005, 07:36 PM
Homerhomer Homerhomer is offline
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Default 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.
Peter
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  #4  
Old 09-28-2005, 08:01 PM
dom_inik_m dom_inik_m is offline
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Default 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...
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  #5  
Old 09-28-2005, 08:11 PM
sohrab sohrab is offline
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Default 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..
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  #6  
Old 09-28-2005, 08:26 PM
markgong markgong is offline
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Default 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. ;)
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  #7  
Old 09-28-2005, 08:31 PM
Luko Luko is offline
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Default 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.

Luko
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  #8  
Old 09-28-2005, 08:59 PM
Homerhomer Homerhomer is offline
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Default 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.
Peter
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  #9  
Old 10-03-2005, 07:13 PM
joseelias joseelias is offline
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Default Re: Leave your cameras at home!

I’ll start my message with two small stories:

Some years ago, right after the opening of the Lisbon Oceanarium during World Exhibition - Expo 98 , despite all the messages warning people not to fire the flash as they could put in danger the fishes, stupid people (there’s no other name for them) did not respect it. Of course, with thousands of visitors flashing around the main tank, and despite the workers efforts, it could only produce bad results. And the results were that in several occasions, the sharks got enraged with the flashes and attacked other fishes around them. As a consequence some rare species were eaten by the sharks which would never happen in a normal situation. After the flash is fired nothing can be done, and sometimes the consequences are impossible to revert.

The second story happened to me, also in the Oceanarium. Knowing that the flash couldn’t be used I turned it off. Still, when photographing some very, very sensible sea creatures (in fact they have a guard permanently by the side of the aquarium) I was warned by the guard that I had to turn of my Auto-Focus Light Assistant immediately because it also was dangerous to them (no warning about this anywhere). I preferred that it was totally forbidden to photograph them than to make me put those creatures in danger! Now, how many people don’t even have the care to turn of the flashes?! More, how many even know how to control the AF-Assistant Light? Again, nothing can be done after being fired.

Personally I also find reasonable that photographing with flash to be forbidden in situations where the flash may produce permanent damage in unique or rare items.

And if people are too ignorant or too stupid to understand this (“one flash won’t make difference…”), or unable to control the cameras, making that the amount of flashes fired destructive of the richness of our common culture, than forbid all photographs in the areas where they can make such damage.

What worries me, and should worry all of us, is the fact that it’s forbidden to take photos inside train and subway stations as well in many other places (and still growing), without any explanation. No security man was able to give me ANY reason except that it’s forbidden and only with authorization it’s allowed…

This worries me because it sounds like they are trying to hide severe security flaws, bad service to their costumers and other cases like this. And the excuse that it’s a security against terrorism as I’ve heard later is a crap as a terrorist can get with a big easy these information. Just buy a 2mp image-phone also with video mode and no one will bother you for being handling it…

These are the real cases which we should be worried about, and not to be able to take a photo of a painting that any postcard shows with better quality and detail (not to mention books). If people want a souvenir to brag about to their friends, just buy a postcard and keep the entrance ticket…
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