Egyptian Minister of Antiquities Khaled El-Enany referred on Tuesday the fle of a dance party held in the Karnak Temple area of Luxor to prosecutors for investigation, following the release of photos allegedly showing party-goers dressed indecently and consuming illegal substances.
Mohamed Abdel-Aziz, director-general of Upper Egypt Antiquities, said that approval for the event was given in mid-March before El-Enany was appointed minister.
Abdel-Aziz said the party was held in front of Karnak Temple at a distance of 200 metres, not inside the temple itself as reported on some news and social media outlets.
The ministry, Abdel-Aziz told Ahram Online, installed an iron fence to cordon off the area where the event was being held to prevent entry into the temple area.
The party was held on Monday after closing hours at the archaeological site and the temple's gates were closed.
Mostafa Waziri, director-general of Luxor Antiquities, told Ahram Online that the Tourism and Antiquities Police in Luxor were present in the area around Karnak Temple, that all security measures were taken and all attendees' bags searched.
He asserted that no irregularities took place and that photos published on social media showing drunken people dancing in front of Karnak and others smoking illegal drugs were doctored images.
The photos, Waziri said, were from a private gala ceremony held two days earlier at one of Luxor's hotels.
On Tuesday morning, archaeological activists on social media criticised the Ministry of Antiquities and Luxor governorate for approving the event at Karnak Temple, saying the attendees committed “irregularities” and did not respect the sanctity of the ancient site.