Last week, photos of a Belgian model posing completely naked along the Egyptian pyramids made the rounds on social media, raising several questions.
Details have since emerged on the case, and it turns out the model, Marisa Papen, and her photographer, Australian Jesse Walker, were allegedly arrested as a result of the photo session that took place earlier this year.
Having posed naked with the Pyramids in the background, the duo was arrested and ended up spending a night in jail.
According to Fox News, Papen said that she has taken nude photographs in "at least 50 countries," but Egypt was the only place where she encountered trouble.
Paper and Walker were reportedly well aware of the risks they were taking by having Papen publicly undress in the conservative country, but the duo decided to carry on with the photoshoot regardless.
As part of an advertising campaign for Walker's ENKI Eyewear brand, Papen stripped down and posed by the Egyptian landmarks in Giza and Luxor.
"It indeed was the first time I actually modeled naked in an Arab country," Papen said. "And to be clear, we didn’t want to offend anyone, our goal was to recreate the Ancient Egyptian World - the Pyramids and Karnak temple were built long before the Islam existed."
Papen claimed that they had first succeeded in taking some photos by bribing some guards, but things became more challenging when they went to Luxor, where they hoped to shoot by the temple complex at Karnak.
With several security guards monitoring the area, the duo decided to hide until the temple closed, after which they started the photoshoot.
Unsurprisingly, they were caught in the act and taken into custody.
Walker managed to quickly delete the images before police confiscated his camera, allowing them to claim that they did not take any photos but were only "testing the light."
"Like [two] beaten dogs, we got guided out by four security guards including the principal of the temple … police would be waiting for us with open arms," said Papen.
According to Arab News, the two were arrested for not gaining permission from the authorities before conducting the photo session in the historic sites.
Papen and Walker spent a night in jail, after which they appeared before a judge and acted like clueless tourists.
“I never really was super scared, but there were moments I couldn’t see the end of this mess anymore,” Papen told Fox News. “We were sent from one office to the other, explaining the same story over and over again - the feeling of being scared turned into frustration multiple times.”
The two were then released and allowed to return to their hotel after the judge gave them "a warning and told us never to do something so foolishly shameful ever again."
“We tried to explain to them that we were making art with the highest respect for Egyptian culture,” she wrote on her website. “But they could not see a connection between nudity and art. In their eyes, it was porn or something like that.”
Walker managed to retrieve the photos using a special software, allowing him to publish them online after leaving the country.
Egyptian ministry denies the incident
According to Gulf News, the Egyptian Ministry of Antiquities has disputed the validity of the photos.
"It is probable that the photos are fake or had been taken a long time ago and were recently published,” the ministry said in a statement. "No such photo session has taken place in any archaeological area."