Associated Press “Anger at Angkor: Cambodians upset over naked western tourists at temples” http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/feb/27/angkor-archaeological-park-unesco-world-heritage-naked-western-tourist-cambodians-site-deported
This month, guards arrested two American sisters after seeing them snap photos of each other’s naked backsides in the temple of Preah Khan, said Kerya Chau Sun, spokeswoman for the Apsara Authority, which manages the temple complex in Siem Reap, north-western Cambodia. LindseyAdams, 22, and her sister Leslie , 20, both of Prescott, Arizona, were each sentenced to a six-month suspended sentence, a fine of 1m riel (£159), deportation and a four-year ban from the country.
In January, three French men in their 20s were deported after they were caught taking nude photographs at Angkor complex. Another photo showing a topless woman at the site has circulated on social media, but officials believe it is fake, according to Chau Sun. Three tourists were also caught riding a motorbike naked near Phnom Penh in January, according to local media.
Reached via email, one of the Frenchmen, Rodolphe Fourgeot, said he did not want to talk about the case. He said it demonstrated “endemic corruption” in Cambodia but did not elaborate.
A message on a mobile phone listed for Lindsey Adams said the voicemail was full and not accepting messages. She also did not respond to a Facebook message. A message was left on a number listed for the sisters’ mother.
Angkor archaeological park is the biggest tourist draw for the south-east Asian country still dealing with the legacy of the Khmer Rouge, the fanatical communist regime behind a reign of terror from 1975 to 1979 that left an estimated 1.7 million people dead.
The massive Angkor complex is a proud counterpoint to that painful legacy. It contains the remains of capitals of the Khmer empire, which existed from the 9th to the 15th centuries and controlled most of south-east Asia at its peak. For a time, Angkor was among the world’s biggest cities.
The temples are renowned for their architecture and art, with countless intricate carvings, including semi-nude spirits known as apsaras. Angkor Wat is the largest and best preserved of the structures.
The temples are much more than stone ruins for most Cambodians, said Trevor Sofield*3, a professor of tourism at the University of Tasmania. They are places of Buddhist worship as well as a symbol of the Khmer heritage, he said. He added that the Apsara Authority and Unesco should focus on educating the public about the living, sacred nature of the site in addition to its historical characteristics.
Angkor is not the only world-renowned site that has had to deal with nude tourists. In 2014, officials at Machu Picchu in Peru said they were increasing surveillance after visitors were caught taking nude photographs or running through the ancient site naked.
Amichay Rab, a 32-year-old accountant from Tel Aviv, Israel, was one of those tourists who posed in the buff. Rab documented his nude escapades while on a nine-month trip through Central and South America on his blog. Many of the photos were taken early in the morning before there were crowds, he said, and local residents often snapped the photos for him.
“I was anxious sometimes but was never afraid [of] getting in trouble as I was very discreet,” he said. “I was waiting for the right moment in order to avoid hurting someone’s feelings.”
*1:See also http://d.hatena.ne.jp/sumita-m/20070816/1187241208 http://d.hatena.ne.jp/sumita-m/20080630/1214823890 http://d.hatena.ne.jp/sumita-m/20080904/1220538100 http://d.hatena.ne.jp/sumita-m/20100630/1277877221 http://d.hatena.ne.jp/sumita-m/20120209/1328811642 http://d.hatena.ne.jp/sumita-m/20130618/1371580262