If they would have been caught in act they could have faced up to a year in jail. Now the Egyptian authorities are investigating the incident.
Andreas Hvid, a photographer known for his provocative pictures shot in rooftops overlooking sight-seeing landmarks, could face serious legal consequences after the publication of his last work. He uploaded a video where we can see a couple -apparently Hvid himself and a Danish model- climbing the pyramid of Cheops, the tallest among The Great Pyramids.
Once on the top, we can see the girl taking her clothes off and right-after, a shot of both naked in what looks “a sexual pose”.
Hvid uploaded the video last 8th of December and has already over two million views. He explained to a local Danish paper that Giza authorities stopped them on a first attempt to climb the monument and brought them to a police station for an interrogation. They were then left free without charges. The girl left the project and he called a Danish model who travelled to Cairo “at short notice”.
Khaled al-Ani, the minister of antiquities, told the local Egyptian paper Al-Ahram he has referred the incident to the country’s Attorney-General to determine if wheter the footage is real or fake and also to prosecute “negligent officials”.
What could be the actual legal consequences for Hvid? “He didn’t get caught in the act, so he would be fine. But you never know, the people and the media may spark some controversy. But according to the law he is fine.” Said Mohammed Eldib, a lawyer from the Cairo-based law firm Eldib and Co.
“Of course this violates our moral and Civil Code and of course it goes against public indecency. In the end of the day this is punishable by law. The punishment would be a fine of fifty to five hundred EGP [£2 to 20]. This would only happened if they have had caught in act.” Explained the lawyer.
According to the article 278 of the Egyptian Penal Code, “whoever commits in public a scandalous act against pudency shall be punished with a detention for a period not exceeding one year or a fine not exceeding three hundred pounds”.
Egyptians have reacted to the erotic content. Most of the comments on Hvid’s Instagram account picked on his disrespect for the Arabic country culture. The photographer claimed “liberal Egyptian” have shown him support. He said he will not travel to Egypt as “he fears detention”.
Yasser Iman, a Egyptian-born 26 year-old engineer based in Europe, said he felt it as an offence. “Is it allowed to have sex in any of the World’s monuments? You can’t climb the pyramids for preservation reasons. Worse if you do it in a country where having sex in public is a huge sin according to their religion. You shouldn’t disrespect a culture like that.” After a breath, he explained “when you visit another country, you have to respect their traditions and practices.”
A Spanish photographer with experience in nude shots, David Martín Rodero, said he “wouldn’t alleged to art in this case. I would understand if they get punished”.
Full comment on the incident by lawyer Mohammed Eldib below: