A village in Switzerland has banned all photography – based on the claim that photographs of its overwhelming beauty were depressing the rest of the world.
Citizens of Bergün, a picturesque Alpine village, passed legislation officially outlawing anyone from taking pictures of its scenery this week.
The villagers claim that their home is so attractive that images of it posted to social media by tourists were causing envy, sadness and depression in their friends back home.
A statement by the village’s local government announced the ban, which will be enforceable with a fine of 5 Swiss francs (roughly $5).
The message, posted on Bergün’s website, said:
From today on, a community-wide photographing ban comes into effect in Bergün, which comes from the heart. The new law was adopted at yesterday’s municipal assembly. The reason: photos of the picturesque landscape, which are shared on the social media, can make other people unhappy because they themselves can not be in Bergün.
The ban was passed by an assembly of local people, who voted 46 to 2 in favour of it.
According to a press release from the village tourist agency, they hope that the mystique created by the prohibition on photography will encourage people to visit the area in person instead.
Switzerland has an unusually strong commitment to direct, local democracy, which can result in some strange outcomes.
At the beginning of this year, locals in the village of Gipf-Oberfrick denied a local vegan the right to get a Swiss passport because they found her campaign against their traditional cow bells so annoying.
Local lawmaking has also led Switzerland to have a colorful patchwork of rules regulating the right to hike in the nude.
Some cantons allow the practice, while in other places it can see walkers fined, or even jailed.