CAIRO (AA) – Egyptian authorities said Thursday that they would investigate the circumstances of a pornographic video shot by foreign tourists at the Pyramids of Giza after reports of the incident emerged on several local news outlets.
“A set of sexually explicit scenes was illegally filmed inside the Giza Necropolis by a foreign tourist while visiting the site,” Antiquities Minister Mamdouh al-Damati said in a statement.
Al-Damati said the incident had since been referred to prosecutors for investigation.
The government’s acknowledgement of the incident comes on the heels of several local news reports featuring blurred still pictures taken from the ten-minute video, in which Egypt’s iconic Pyramids and Sphinx are plainly visible in the background.
Initially, Egyptian officials had denied the film’s authenticity.
Youssef Khalifa, the head of Egypt’s antiquities authority, had said one day earlier that images of the Egyptian monuments had been edited into the video.
Khalifa had also ruled out an investigation, insisting that the video was a fake.
In some of the snapshots, a female tourist – believed to be Russian – poses topless with the historic monuments appearing behind her.
In another shot, the tourist appears to be walking towards a man – thought to be a local tour guide – who leans against a tour bus bearing the tour company’s logo.
The incident was featured on local news websites after the still pictures went viral on Egyptian social media, prompting criticism of the local authorities for failing to prevent the “scandalous” film.
Egyptologist Bassam al-Shamaa said that entry into the area in which the tourist appears is prohibited.
“Surveillance cameras aren’t enough to secure such important sites,” al-Shamaa told The Anadolu Agency.
“A full security cordon must be installed to prevent such incidents – which demean Egyptian civilization – from reoccurring,” he asserted.
“If camera records confirm the filming of this video, the antiquities minister and the relevant security personnel should resign,” he added.
A local NGO has suggested that security officials were bribed by the video’s makers to allow them to film in the area.
“Government officials are seeking profit with total disregard to Egypt’s reputation,” the Popular Committee for Defending Egypt’s Antiquities said in a Wednesday statement.
It was not, apparently, the first incident of its kind.
According to the NGO, a pornographic movie was filmed at the Pyramids – and in Egypt’s southern cities of Luxor and Aswan – in 1997.
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