Amsterdam museums mixed on smartphone photos

The Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam this year proposed a ban on taking photographs with smartphones and tablets inside museums. But this action is not followed in all museums in Amsterdam. Some museums even encourage the taking of photographs.

People complained about the "smartphone terror", they could hardly see the famous paintings. The museum therefore imposed a photography ban in the halls. Visitors may only take pictures with their phones on special photo spots, which have a huge replica of a Van Gogh painting in the background. "It works", said a spokesperson. "People adhere nicely to it."

The Anne Frank House in Amsterdam is one of the few other museums to also have a photography ban. "We want the emotional experience in the home to be paramount", explains a spokesperson of the museum. "We have sometimes talked about letting the ban go, but there isn't much support. Visitors are moved by what they see."

Other museums encourage people to take photographs of artwork. In front of Rembrandt's Night-watch in the Rijksmuseum it is sometimes extremely busy, but taking photographs without a flash is allowed. "That is indisputable", explains a spokesperson. "The only rule is that you should not be a burden to others. That is also in the visiting rules."

Protectors must sometimes take action when visitors can only see the famous painting through three tablets and two phones. "We want to regulate it a bit, so that people can stay comfortable. Not to affect the photo behavior." The taking of pictures does surprise the museum though. "On our website we offer images in the highest resolution and we sell the most beautiful postcards."