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London’s National Gallery now welcomes personal photography in the galleries, stirring up a media debate

The National Gallery’s position changed to “welcoming” photography when free wi-fi was introduced this month

The decision by London’s National Gallery to allow personal photography has stirred up a media storm, with commentators divided on the wisdom of permitting it. In March, The Art Newspaper published the first survey of the policies of the world’s top ten most-visited museums (see link below). Three banned photography (the National Gallery, the Musée d’Orsay in Paris and the National Palace Museum in Taipai), with seven allowing it.

At that time a National Gallery spokeswoman explained that photography “could spoil the visitor’s enjoyment of the art”. The gallery’s position changed to “welcoming” photography when free wi-fi was introduced this month. Allowing smartphones made it more difficult to enforce the photography ban.

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