A Danish Photographer Shot Himself Having Sex With a Model Atop Egypt’s Great Pyramid. Here’s Why He Did It
The photo was "the dumbest idea I could get on," explains Danish daredevil Andreas Hvid.
A sexy photo is sparking outrage in Egypt: Andreas Hvid, a 23-year-old Danish photographer, has created a new piece in his “Nude Art” photo series, scaling the Great Pyramid of Giza with a woman and capturing an image of the two, naked, locked in a passionate embrace.
Egyptian authorities are investigating the stunt and are reportedly considering pressing charges. Meanwhile, Hvid’s photos are attracting attention from around the world, from bemusement to outrage.
What Actually Happened
Hvid told the Danish publication Ekstrabladet that he had been dreaming about taking the “pyramid fuck”—as translated by Google—photo for quite some time, calling it “the dumbest idea I could get on. Western, privileged youth at its worst. All that is missing is a joint and a bottle of vodka.”
However, the photographer denies that the two actually had intercourse during the photo shoot—though it is clearly staged to look as if they did. (His partner’s face is obscured both in the photo and in the accompanying video.)
How They Got There
It is forbidden to climb the Great Pyramid, also known as the Pyramid of Khufu, which tops out at 460 feet tall. The only one of the Seven Wonders of the World to remain intact, the 4,500-year-old Great Pyramid is closed at night, but Hvid says that he was able to sneak in, eluding security and reaching the pinnacle of the historic structure.
Some have doubted that the photos are real. “One hundred percent it is Photoshopped,” former Egyptian Minister of Antiquities Zahi Hawass told NBC News. “There is no way any one can enter the pyramids area at night.”
Hvid, however, insists that if the sex was simulated, the trip was very real.
“Fearing to be spotted by the many guards, I did not film the several hours of sneaking around at the Giza Plateau, which lead up to the climb,” the photographer wrote in the description for the video embedded below.
He elaborated to Ekstrabladet: “A euphoric feeling struck us both when we reached the top. It was the culmination of a lot of work and many chances taken.”
His ‘Art’ Background
The photographer’s work combines two risky, often-illegal photography trends that are currently popular on Instagram: urban exploring, in which daredevils often defy “no trespassing” signs to scale rooftops and bridges, documenting their dangerous doings in stunning photographs; and naked tourism, in which travelers seek to commune with nature by stripping down at photo-friendly locales such as UNESCO World Heritage sites Peru’s Machu Picchu and Cambodia’s Angkor Wat.
Hvid’s images have focused on naked women climbing bridge towers, or posing in empty sewer tunnels. His past exploits include an illegal visit to the radioactive Chernobyl zone in Ukraine, and climbing skyscrapers in Bangkok and Hong Kong.
“The explicit video has sparked fury and outrage among Egyptians in general, and the officials affiliated with the Ministry of Antiquities in particular,” Khaled El-Anany, Egypt’s Minister of Antiquities, told Ahram Online, noting that the prosecutor-general has been tasked with investigating the incident, which violates public morality. “I stress that scaling the pyramids is strictly forbidden.”
Response on social media has been mixed, with some users accusing Hvid of disrespecting Egyptian culture. “On behalf of historians and archaeologists everywhere, I hope you both end up in jail,” reads one YouTube comment (quoted by Vice).
“I’m sad that so many people have become so angry,” Hvid has said. “But I have also received a positive response from a lot of Egyptians—something I think is worth remembering.”
Similar Stunts Have Happened Before
A fellow urban explorer, German teenager Andrej Cie, climbed the Great Pyramid in 2016. He was not detained by the police, but later received a lifetime ban from returning to Egypt. (Other urban explorers have also faced legal consequences for their actions.) Last April, model Marisa Papen and photographer Jesse Walker were arrested at the Karnak Temple in Luxor during a nude photo shoot.
“It’s a yell for freedom. I want to go back to a time when women were queens. That’s why I want to go to all these countries were women are suppressed.…,” Papen told the Sun of the project, which she says seeks to promote women’s equality. “I’m trying to use my nudity and use my body to really show and make make people think and spread a broader message.”
For his part, Hvid plans to “stay out of Egypt in the future, as I probably risk being [arrested] if I go back.”
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