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Viral video shows Danish couple posing naked atop Egypt's Giza pyramid, probe ordered from Harmukh News on Vimeo.

Home / Lifestyle / Egypt arrests two for helping Danish couple stage nude photoshoot atop Giza pyramid: Report

Egypt arrests two for helping Danish couple stage nude photoshoot atop Giza pyramid: Report

Egyptian authorities have arrested two people for allegedly helping a Danish photographer and his partner stage a naked photoshoot on top of the Great Pyramid of Giza.

Egypt launched an investigation last week into images said to show a naked couple who scaled the Great Pyramid that has sparked outrage in the conservative Muslim country.

Photographer Andreas Hvid sparked controversy in Egypt after he published a photo showing himself and a woman naked on top of the pyramid, provoking an investigation by Egypt’s ministry of the interior and condemnation from many Egyptians.

The ministry of the interior announced the arrest of a camel driver who works on the Giza plateau, the site of the pyramids, who reportedly helped the pair climb the Great Pyramid for 4,000 LE, according to local news reports.

Loxal news outlet Ahram stated that authorities also arrested a woman who helped “mediate the deal”, and that both were under investigation.

The Egyptian minister of antiquities, Khaled al-Anani, described the shot as “a violation of public morality” before referring the incident to Egypt’s prosecutor general and discussing it in parliament, where he condemned the material as “pornographic” and stressed that climbing the pyramid was illegal.

In a video titled “Climbing the Great Pyramid of Giza”, Danish photographer Andreas Hvid appears to scale the 4,500-year-old tomb on the outskirts of Cairo at night with an unidentified woman who is later seen taking off her top.

Hvid says the video was taken in late November but it was published on YouTube on December 8.

A photograph released by Hvid appears to show the couple completely naked on top of each other while looking in the direction of a nearby pyramid with the horizon illuminated.

“The public prosecution is investigating the incident of the Danish photographer and the authenticity of the photos and video of him climbing the pyramid,” Mostafa Waziri, the secretary general of Egypt’s supreme antiquities council had told news agency AFP last week.

If the video was actually filmed at the top of the pyramid, that would make it a “very serious crime”, Waziri had said.

The nearly three-minute video took social media by storm and has been the subject of late night talk shows. It has notched up millions of views on YouTube alone.

“A 7,000-year-old civilisation has turned into a bed sheet,” a Twitter user in Egypt lamented.

Another protested that “they want to soil the dignity and pride of Egyptians because the pyramid reflects the glory and grandeur of the Egyptian people”.

The authenticity of the images has been disputed with some arguing the photograph showing the pair naked appears to be very bright whereas the video showed them scaling the pyramid at night.

Antiquities Minister Khaled el-Enany told government newspaper Al-Ahram that the video has stirred “anger and outrage among Egyptians”, and that officials in charge of guarding the pyramids would be punished if found to have been negligent.

Hvid, 23, explained back home to the Danish newspaper Ekstra Bladet that he had “dreamed for many years of climbing the Great Pyramid” as well as of taking a naked photograph.

“I’m sad that so many people have got angry but I’ve also received a lot of positive responses from many Egyptians,” he said in an interview.

The young Norwegian, who runs his own YouTube channel, said he had absolutely no interest in stirring up a crisis such as that triggered by cartoons in Western newspapers of the Prophet Mohammed.

As for the girl in the video, she was not his girlfriend. “It was just a pose. We did not have sexual relations,” Hvid said.

The Great Pyramid, also known as the Khufu pyramid, is the largest in Giza, standing at 146 metres (480 feet) tall, and the only surviving structure of the Seven Wonders of the ancient world.

Climbing pyramids is forbidden in Egypt.

In 2016, a German tourist was barred from entering the country for life after he posted online footage of climbing one of the ancient structures.

The Giza pyramids on the outskirts of Cairo.

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