Tourists in Court for Naked Photos at Temple

Three tourists were questioned by the Siem Reap Provincial Court Monday after they were arrested for taking naked pictures of their buttocks at a temple in the Angkor Archaeological Park on Sunday, officials said.

Two men, one from Argentina and another from Italy, both about 30 years old, were caught with their pants down at 2 p.m. by guards at Ta Prohm temple, while a 19-year-old woman from the Netherlands was taking their pictures, said Long Kosal, deputy director of the Apsara Authority, the government body that manages the temples.

“[Sunday] afternoon, our tourist guards arrested three foreigners in Ta Prohm temple complex while they were doing a photo shoot of their buttocks there,” he said, adding that he did not have their names on hand.

The trio was arrested and taken to Siem Reap’s tourist police station for questioning, where they were held overnight, he said.

“When our tourist guards saw them doing a photo shoot, they arrested them immediately and checked the foreigners’ camera and saw the pictures,” Mr. Kosal said. “And today they were sent to court.”

Prosecutor Keut Vannarareth said the court had not decided whether to send the case to an investigating judge or to summarily try the tourists.

In February, two American sisters caught snapping seminude shots of themselves were convicted of pornography and indecency and given six-month suspended sentences, a fine of about $250 and banned from entering the country for four years. Also that month, three French tourists were deported on similar charges.

The Apsara Authority’s Mr. Kosal said that such acts are an offense to Cambodian culture and the spirit of the Angkor temples.

“Firstly, Khmer culture never allows showing naked bodies in public places like this, which is not good,” he said.

“Secondly, our park was built to serve religious beliefs, so showing naked bodies is not acceptable.”

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