Beijing’s Forbidden City has banned the use of selfie sticks unless ‘necessary’, following a number of New York’s Museums and museums in the United Kingdom, France, and Korea, for fear of damage to exhibits, as reported by iNews. We are finding it hard to imagine a situation where using a selfie stick is a life-and-death situation, but progress is progress.

The Forbidden City is allegedly banning the stick because it is friggin’ annoying (“because of their influence on visitors”, i.e. turning them into narcissistic morons), and to ensure no damage is done to the Palace Museum’s invaluable collection.

The SCMP reports that “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.” This is also rather questionable, because we all know how successful bans across China are (check out, for example, this post about the smoking ban inside Beijing bars and restaurants from May 2012, and then, if you were out last night, smell your coat).

Well, if the nuisances on sticks do get booted permanently, it may be a reason to visit the Forbidden City and the new temporary exhibits that will open to the public at the Beijing Palace Museum throughout the year. As part of its 90th anniversary, the museum will open 65 percent of the total palace grounds, as opposed to the present 52 percent, Xinhua reported last month.

Some of the new areas include the first ever peek into the western section, where the concubines used to live, as well as the garden of the Palace of Compassion and Tranquility, where empresses lived, which is expected to open in August of this year.

Other upcoming exhibitions have also been announced on the Palace Museum's website, including next month's Imperial Ceramics and Porcelain of the Great Ming (1368-1644): Comparisons of Excavated and Extant Ceramic Pieces from the Hongwu, Yongle, and Xuande Reigns (14th-15th Century) at the Palace of Prolonging Happiness, and the Hall for Abstinence. Yeah, looking for that perfect angle with a selfie stick in close proximity to Ming dynasty pottery can’t possibly end well.

There will also be genuinely interesting exhibits, for example May through July this year the museum will boast a collection of its old photos at the tower gallery of the Gate of Divine Prowess.

To check out more exhibitions that will take place in order to celebrate the Palace Museum’s 90th anniversary, check out the museum’s website (don’t forget to scroll, they’re not in chronological order).

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Photo: SCMP

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