National Archives Says "No" to Tourist Photos

By Kathy Banks
|  Monday, Jan 25, 2010  |  Updated 11:16 PM EDT
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National Archives Says "No" to Tourist Photos

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When you visit the National Archives in D.C. after Feb. 23, it will still be OK to bring your still cameras, cell phone cameras and video cameras. Just don't use them.

Starting Feb. 24, visitors will be banned from taking photographs or video in the Archives main exhibit hall where the original Declaration of Independence, the U.S. Constitution and the Bill of Rights are displayed.

Despite signs that ban flash photography, officials said tourists still bombard the exhibit with about 50,000 flashes of light every year, which can potentially damage the documents and cause the ink to fade.

Anyone who ignores the rule after a warning will be asked to leave the building.

The ban is also expected to improve the flow of visitor traffic because folks won't be stopping to take pictures.

If you want to take a photo home, you'll have to buy a copy in the Archives gift shop.

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