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Egypt’s antiquities under constant threat

Archaeologists complain of a devastating and ongoing security failure as violations of Egypt’s most famous sites continue.
A security officer patrols the Giza Pyramids on his camel in Cairo, October 1, 2012. REUTERS/Mohamed Abd El Ghany  (EGYPT - Tags: ANIMALS TRAVEL SOCIETY) - RTR38NTP
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CAIRO — Inadequate security systems are putting the most famous archaeological sites in Egypt in jeopardy. The Giza pyramids, one of the seven wonders of the world, are particularly at risk. Successive incidents have heightened security concerns, the latest being the March 2015 Freemasonry parties in the chamber of King Khufu in the Great Pyramid outside work hours, in clear violation of Egypt's laws controlling archaeological sites. Before that, an adult movie was shot in Giza, where the surveillance cameras were out of service. News of the infraction circulated on March 26, while the prosecutor’s investigation confirmed that the video was shot in 2011.

Egyptian laws prohibit religious rituals in archaeological sites, but surveillance cameras inside the Khufu Pyramid failed to prevent some tourists from lighting candles, taking off clothing and sleeping in tombs. Freemasons reportedly believe that sleeping inside tombs grants them powers and a chance to communicate with the other world.

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