“Pandemic of selfies” causing mass damage to art museums, says insurer

Feb 16, 2024

Alex Baker

Alex Baker is a portrait and lifestyle driven photographer based in Valencia, Spain. She works on a range of projects from commercial to fine art and has had work featured in publications such as The Daily Mail, Conde Nast Traveller and El Mundo, and has exhibited work across Europe

“Pandemic of selfies” causing mass damage to art museums, says insurer

Feb 16, 2024

Alex Baker

Alex Baker is a portrait and lifestyle driven photographer based in Valencia, Spain. She works on a range of projects from commercial to fine art and has had work featured in publications such as The Daily Mail, Conde Nast Traveller and El Mundo, and has exhibited work across Europe

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"Pandemic of selfies" causing mass damage to art museums, says insurer

Selfies are not only a danger to ourselves, but they are also an issue for priceless works of art. Specialist art insurer Hiscox has reported a surge of artworks being damaged during visitors’ selfie moments.

Paintings and sculptures are often delicate, and the process of taking a selfie often makes people less aware of their surroundings. Many works of art have been damaged by being bumped into or accidentally touched while visitors take a photo of themselves.

Hiscox’s head of art and private clients, Robert Read, has called the phenomenon “a pandemic of selfies”. Many of these incidents have taken place in the world’s leading art museums and public galleries.

It’s a problem because much of this art is literally priceless and cannot be replaced or restored easily. Any damage done to the art can dramatically affect the value of the work. Over half of Hiscox’s claims are down to accidental damage. A high proportion of those is from selfie-takers, according to the insurance company.

There have been several high-profile mishaps involving selfies and destroyed art. One unfortunate visitor to the 14th Factory in Los Angeles caused $200,000 of damage when she knocked over an installation while taking a selfie.

Still, at least no one is dying during art museum selfies. The tragic side is the death toll from falling when taking selfies in precarious places. It’s all part of the same problem however, as studies have shown that selfie takers are dramatically less aware of their surroundings than regular photographers are.

Maybe we need a selfie awareness campaign.

[via artnet]

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Alex Baker

Alex Baker

Alex Baker is a portrait and lifestyle driven photographer based in Valencia, Spain. She works on a range of projects from commercial to fine art and has had work featured in publications such as The Daily Mail, Conde Nast Traveller and El Mundo, and has exhibited work across Europe

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One response to ““Pandemic of selfies” causing mass damage to art museums, says insurer”

  1. Jackson Haxton Avatar
    Jackson Haxton

    Just more evidence that reveals the true nature of man, selfishness. Or better put, “selfie”ishness. Self-awareness only makes you aware of the problem, and again has the word “self” in the description. What makes a person actually take action to solve it? And does a person actually have the ability to fix it by themselves?