A video that shows a foreign couple in a naked embrace at the summit of the Great Khufu Pyramid of Giza is sparking reaction among Egyptians.
The three-minute video recorded at night shows a man and a woman scaling what appears to be the Great Pyramid of Giza with the skyline of Cairo in the background. When they reach the top, the video shows the woman taking off her shirt and finishes with a still image of them in a naked embrace.
Minister of Antiquities Khaled al-Anani called it a violation of public morality, and said the incident and the video will be investigated by the attorney general.
Ashraf Mohi, director general of the Giza Plateau, told Ahram Online the video is fake, since there is heavy security and the area around appears too brightly lighted.
“The pyramids are the most important historical landmarks in the world,” Mohi said. “People have different ambitions and passions when it comes to expressing their love for them.”
Photographer discusses intent
The video was uploaded to YouTube on Wednesday by Danish photographer Andreas Hvid, who posts images on social media of different sites from high vantage points around the world, sometimes depicting nudity.
“For many years I had dreamed of climbing the great pyramid,” Hvid told Ekstra Bladet, a Danish tabloid. “The idea of making a ‘nude shoot’ up there had also existed for some time.
“I’m sad that so many people have become so angry. But I have also received a positive response from a lot of Egyptians — something I think is worth remembering.”
He said he tried to climb the pyramid with a different friend earlier but they were caught by guards and interviewed at a local police station. He contacted friends in Denmark, and one came for the stunt at the end of November.
He has since traveled to Asia and says he will stay out of Egypt in the future.
Climbing pyramids is illegal
The video seems to have been taken down, along with other social media posts by Hvid related to it.
Mohi said how the couple evaded security and climbed the pyramids will be part of the investigation. He added that there is an 18-kilometer fence around the pyramids along with tight security presence.
Climbing pyramids is illegal in Egypt, with critics saying the incident shows a disregard for the nation’s laws and its conservative society. Egyptians on social media shared their thoughts.
“We should suspend travel for these two until we see what we can do with them,” Waleed Ghanem tweeted.