Yesterday a visitor smashed a unique vase at the Groninger Museum, backing into it when taking a photograph. It shows why the Soane Museum's photography policy is so wise:
"Photography can be intrusive and distracting for visitors. Those taking photographs are often concentrating on what they are doing more than on their surroundings and this increases the risk of accidental damage to works of art."
The Soane provides links to free pictures on Flickr and is willing to consider granting special permission to take pictures. Their pragmatism and helpfulness is admirable; their prohibition on photography more so. It's a shame that the Soane's former director is now allowing photography at the Fitzwilliam Museum. A visitor smashed a precious vase at the Fitz, too (not related to photography).