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Egypt investigating couple over nude photos atop Great Pyramid

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By Charlene Gubash and Linda Givetash  with NBC News World News
Sun sets over Great Pyramids of Giza where the couple alledgeldy posed nude
Sun sets over Great Pyramids of Giza where the couple alledgeldy posed nude   -   Copyright  REUTERS/Amr Abdallah Dalsh

CAIRO — A Danish photographer has triggered outrage in Egypt after images of him having sex atop the Great Pyramid of Giza circulated on social media.

Video and photos released Friday of Andreas Hvid climbing the tallest of the three Great Pyramids at the site have outraged Egyptian officials and the public.

Egypt's Ministry of Antiquities issued a statement Saturday saying the incident "violates public morality." The ministry has requested that an investigation is launched by the Attorney General, the statement said.

Hvid specializes in taking photos from daring heights and his portfolio includes a number of nudes taken on rooftops or cranes overlooking cities and landscapes across the globe.

His latest romp, documented by photos and video, features him having sex with a woman on top of the Great Pyramid at night with another pyramid in the background.

Hvid has removed all but one of the images from his website and social media accounts, but copies have been reposted.

Climbing the pyramids and being at the site after hour is prohibited.

Ashraf Mohi, director of the Giza Plateau said the first step in the investigation will be to determine if the footage is real. Penalties vary depending on whether any damage was done to the pyramid, he said.

Hvid isn't the first to break the rules. A German teen was arrested after scaling the pyramid while authorities weren't looking in 2016.

Hvid has not been arrested and it's unclear what punishment, if any, he could face. Egypt is a mostly conservative country with a Muslim majority.

People convicted of performing indecent acts in public can face up to a year in prison and fines, according to Egyptian law.

An Egyptian actress recently faced up to five years in prison for public obscenity after showing up at the closing ceremony of the Cairo International Film Festival wearing a see-through dress. The charges against Rania Youssef were dropped after she made a public apology for her choice of attire.

Egyptians are comparing the recent scandals and making fun of the lawyer who filed the charge against the actress.

"Are you going to file an emergency charge against the boy and his girlfriend who climbed the pyramid ... or do you only deal with dresses?" one man tweeted on Friday.

"(The lawyer) Samir Sabry is filing a charge against the Pyramid for facilitating adultery and indecency. The prosecutor has summoned the Pyramid for questioning," joked another person.

Charlene Gubash reported From Cairo, and Linda Givetash from London.