Stonehenge bosses 'regret' photography ban (update)

English Heritage has issued a statement to photographers after it sent an email that banned commercial use of images of historic tourist attraction Stonehenge.

Stonehenge, Wiltshire

English Heritage has issued a statement to photographers after it sent an email that banned commercial use of images of historic tourist attraction Stonehenge.

The storm centred on a message sent to picture agency fotoLibra which read: ‘We are sending you an email regarding images of Stonehenge on your fotoLibra website.

‘Please be aware that any images of Stonehenge cannot be used for any commercial interest, all commercial interest to sell images must be directed to English Heritage.’

But the email prompted a flood of angry responses on fotoLibra’s website.

Clive Morgan wrote: ‘English Heritage (as well as the National Trust and others) should remember that it is images of their property and sites in the public domain that stimulate interest and demand for people to visit their sites in the first place.’

English Heritage, which looks after Stonehenge on behalf of the nation, has since issued a statement saying: ‘We regret the confusion caused by a recent email sent to a picture library.’

The statement, published on the English Heritage website, adds: ‘We do not control the copyright of all images of Stonehenge and have never tried to do so.

‘We have no problem with photographers sharing images of Stonehenge on Flickr and similar not-for-profit image websites. We encourage visitors to the monument to take their own photographs.

‘If a commercial photographer enters the land within our care with the intention of taking a photograph of the monument for financial gain, we ask that they pay a fee and abide by certain conditions.

‘English Heritage is a non-profit making organisation and this fee helps preserve and protect Stonehenge for the benefit of future generations.

‘The majority of commercial photographers respect this position and normally request permission in advance of visiting.’

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