This Village Was Temporarily Too Beautiful for Photographs

Bergün/Bravuogn eases its 'friendly' photo ban
By Elizabeth Armstrong Moore,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 6, 2017 9:43 AM CDT
Village's Ban on Beautiful Photos Lasts Just Days
Is this image so beautiful it fills you with sadness that you're not there right now? The leaders of Swiss village Berg?n think so.   (Instagram/destinations.switzerland)

A quaint mountainside village in Switzerland found itself the subject of headlines across the globe after instituting a cheeky photo ban—one that lasted all of a few days. In what was admittedly at least one-half marketing scheme from the get-go, Bergün/Bravuogn in Switzerland on May 29 decide to instate a photography ban and a $5.62 fine for tourists who circumvent it, reported Travel & Leisure. "It is scientifically proven that beautiful holiday photos on social media make the viewer unhappy because they cannot be there themselves," the village tourist office announced in a statement defending the fine. Instead of drowning in your sorrow, per Mayor Peter Nicolay, "We cordially invite you to visit." But the Local reports that on June 1 (after being found funny by some and likened to North Korea by others) the town did an about-face.

In a video posted to Facebook that day, Nicolay explains "we have found a solution" for the people who "obviously" want to take photos of all his town's beauty. "Until the friendly photography ban has officially been lifted, everyone with a camera will be given a friendly special permit. So now you can snap away!" And even that friendly special permit won't likely be needed for long: The Local reports the town's assembly will vote to do away with the ban when it next meets. That said, the Smithsonian noted the move wasn't wholly unprecedented: It quotes a 2016 Observer article that dives into why some popular tourist spots—among them the Sistine Chapel, the Van Gogh Museum, and the State Rooms of Buckingham Palace—don't permit the use of camera. (Are tourists ruining Iceland?)

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