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October 20, 2011

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Garden lifts wedding snaps ban

THE park administration yesterday ruled that wedding photograph shoots should be allowed in local green areas - after the Shanghai Botanical Garden turned away newlyweds at the weekend.

But the Shanghai Greenery and Public Sanitation Administrative Bureau reminded wedding photographers to obey parks' and gardens' admission rules and treat plants and animals with respect.

Newlyweds hoping to have wedding photographs taken in the romantic surroundings of the botanical garden in Xuhui District over the weekend were shocked to be refused admittance by staff.

The garden put up notices stating that commercial wedding photograph shoots were banned.

Officials from the garden explained that the statement mainly targeted two companies based nearby.

"Their photographers buy the garden's monthly pass, which is a favor for people coming for morning exercises," said Li Xuemei, deputy director of the garden. "This means they can come to shoot pictures whenever they want, without having to buy tickets again."

And in efforts to get the best shots, photographers sometimes damage plants, said Li.

But the bureau said simply banning all commercial wedding photographers is unreasonable.

Officials said, under city law, parks and gardens can be venues for entertainment, including shooting wedding pictures. And garden authorities are responsible for serving visitors.

Shanghai Botanical Garden said it has withdrawn its ban and started negotiating with the two photography companies.

"The companies are aware of the unacceptable behavior of their photographers," Li said.

"But as long as they buy tickets and behave themselves in the garden, we welcome them to take advantage of the beautiful sights in our garden," added the official.


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