Egypt arrests two suspected of aiding couple who climbed, posed nude on pyramid

Ayat Al Tawy, Thursday 13 Dec 2018

File Photo: horse riders gallop near the Giza pyramids, on the southwestern outskirts of the Egyptian capital Cairo. - Egyptian authorities have launched an investigation after a couple was filmed scaling the Great Pyramid to pose for a nude photograph. (Photo: AFP)

Egyptian authorities have arrested two people accused of aiding a Danish couple to illegally climb the Great Pyramid and take nude pictures atop the ancient structure, the interior ministry said.

Danish photographer Andreas Hvid shared a video last week showing him scaling the 4,500-year-old Pyramid of Khufu on the outskirts of Cairo at night with an unidentified woman.

The near three-minute footage, which later showed the woman taking off her top and featured a photo of the couple in a naked embrace, has sparked considerable controversy in the conservative country.

The interior ministry said in a statement on Thursday that a man who works at the ancient Giza site on the western edge of Greater Cairo assisted the couple in climbing the pyramid in return for EGP 4,000 (approximately $223).

A woman who knew the couple on the internet helped mediate the deal. Both have been arrested and were referred to prosecutors for investigations.

The ministry said the incident took place on 29 November, but the video was only shared by Hvid on YouTube on 8 December and has since amassed over 4.5 million views.

Egypt has opened a probe into the incident and the authenticity of the video and the photos of the couple, which some Egyptian officials had dismissed as fake.

One of the original, and only surviving, Seven Wonders of the World, the Pyramid of Khufu is the largest of the Great Pyramids of Giza, soaring to a height of 140 metres.

Climbing the pyramids is outlawed in Egypt.

In 2016, a German teenager received a life ban from entering Egypt after climbing the Great Pyramid to take photos and videos.

In 2015, Egyptian authorities investigated a pornographic video filmed by foreign tourists near the Giza pyramids.

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