Egypt to charge public for photoshoots at archaeological sites, causing uproar
In a now deleted tweet, Egypt’s Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities said that it would be imposing a charge for any wedding photoshoots taken at archaeological sites around the country.
The tweet, which was posted on Monday, said that the ministry had set the cost of the photoshoots at 1,500 Egyptian pounds an hour.
“The Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities has set the price of photography for wedding parties in all archaeological locations around Egypt, after agreeing this with specialist authorities, to 1,500 Egyptian pounds per hour,” the tweet said.
The announcement was met with fierce backlash online, and caused the ministry to delete the tweet in response.
Many have responded to the tweets with both sarcasm and anger, with several stating it is a way for authorities to make money off people.
One social media user said that the decison was unfair and antiquities should be free for people to photograph. "This is crazy and unconstitutional, charging Egyptians for fees in exchange for taking photos with their antiquities. We have gone back to the days of the Mamluks rule, when Egyptians were angry about the exorbitant taxes and fees on everything. This was one of the reasons Egyptians revolted against them, despite their achievements in military power, roads and castles," the tweet read.
Translation: We're not allowed to be happy about or take photos in front of historic monuments without paying the blood in our hearts
Some social media users complained about what they called an extortionate cost for locations that should be free for everyone to enjoy and take photos at.
Amr Magdi, an Egyptian researcher and writer, also weighed in on the controversial decision.
"Antiquities that belong to people and areas, which are supposed to be an open place for people to enjoy and take walks in, has only become an opportunity for profit," he said in a tweet.
Translation: Two more years and even walking in the streets will be a cost.
Earlier this year, Egyptians also took to social media to criticise an extravagant parade of ancient mummies being transported from the Egyptian Museum in central Cairo to a new resting place south of the city.
Numerous commentators called the procession a distraction from human rights abuses in the country, and also used the photos to highlight the plight of thousands of Egyptians who have been arbitrarily detained in recent years.