A British tourist was arrested for taking naked pictures at one of the Seven Wonders of the World, the Machu Picchu ruins in Peru. The naked pictures of the man were released by police in a bid to serve as a warning to tourists not to engage in similar behaviour at the ancient site.
"We are in contact with local authorities in Peru following an incident involving a British national in Machu Picchu," said a Foreign Office spokesman. Adam Burton, 23, and his French friend Eric Xavier Mariec, 28, who were both caught by guards at Machu Picchu, are being charged with moral misconduct. In the pictures retrieved from one of their cell phones, the Incan Citadel can be seen in the background.
It is not the first time that such an incident has occurred at the World's Wonder, which had led to the culture minister, Diana Alvarez-Calderon, releasing a statement in 2014 denouncing nude visitors. "Machu Picchu is a religious sanctuary for the locals," said Alvarez-Calderon. Surveillance was also increased in 2014 as authorities worked on a crackdown on naked tourism.
The 15th-century Inca citadel, Machu Picchu, remains a favourite tourist destination, which attracted over 1,100,000 travellers in 2015, said the archaeological site's Chief, Juan Carlos Nieto. It was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1983.
Under the park rules printed at the back of the admission ticket to the site, a clear warning states that nudity is not permissible at the site. "There are places in the world that people can get naked, but not all places are [appropriate] for getting undressed," the director of archaeological resources for Peru's Ministry of Culture, Alfredo Mormontoy Atayupanqui, told CNN.
Earlier in 2015, two Canadians, a British woman and a Dutchman were arrested for posing naked on Mount Kinabalu, a sacred peak in Bornea, which the Kadazan Dusun tribe believes is a resting place for spirits. Some locals even blamed the foreigners for spurring a 5.9 magnitude earthquake that hit the eastern Sabah on Borneo. Sabah Deputy Chief Minister Joseph Pairin Kiting had said that a special ritual will be conducted to "appease the mountain spirit" following the naked selfies incident.