Here’s a strange story form the Asia-Pacific region. A Cambodian court has found two US women guilty of taking nude photographs of themselves within the nation’s iconic Angkor Wat complex. A six month suspended jail sentence was imposed, as was a three hundred dollar fine and a four year ban from Cambodia.
Twenty two year old Lindsey Adams and her twenty year old sister Leslie were in Cambodia to visit the complex when they had a bright idea. The pair removed their pants and proceeded to take photos of their partially exposed rears. According to the site authority, “…the two tourists had confessed and recognised that they made a mistake by taking naked back photos”.
Believe it or not, this is the second major incident involving a major religious site and raunchy photography in less than two weeks. Last week, three French males were arrested and deported after taking photos in the nude at the temple complex in Banteay Kdey. Similarly, they were banned from entering Cambodia for a period of four years.
Officials and government representatives believe that the cases highlight a fundamental ignorance and disrespect for the local culture and its sacred spaces. Chau Sun Kerya, spokeswoman for the authority, attempted to explain the tourists puzzling actions. “Perhaps they did not know Angkor is a holy site. But their inappropriate activities affect the sanctity of the place,” she told the AFP.
The recent cases of ‘high exposure’ within sacred sites have come hot on the heels of a series of viral photographs which depict nude Asian women in various Cambodian temple complexes. Angry Cambodian officials were keen to avoid further embarrassment, setting up more rigorous monitoring schedules. Insiders say that the arrests are an attempt to dissuade tourists and locals from misusing the sacred site.
The Angkor Archaeological Park is a World Heritage Listed site with immense social and cultural value. The many wondrous remnants of the Khmer religious culture have long appealed to international tourists of all distinctions.
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