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MODEL MARISA PAPEN TALKS ABOUT GETTING ARRESTED IN EGYPT FOR POSING NUDE AT THE PYRAMIDS

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Not all countries have a liberal attitude toward nudity, especially nudity in public. Most of them are centered in the Middle East. Belgian nude model Marisa Papen, however, makes a habit of traveling the world and posing nude, including in the Middle East. She went to Egypt to pose nude at the pyramids and other sites. And of course, she got arrested. She posted a lengthy blog on her experience, with her pictures on her website here. “The last two years I have walked wild and free in at least 50 countries. Rarely do I end up in precarious situations. Until April this year in Egypt,” Marisa said. At the pyramids, they bribed a security guard and shot nudes, before two men approached them. “I was suddenly completely awake, like a cold shower at 5 a.m. in the morning. We tried to explain to them that we were making art with the highest respect for Egyptian culture, but they could not see a connection between nudity and art,” she said. “In their eyes it was porn, or something like that.” Marisa and her photographer were able to bride the two officials with $20 (though, probably should have paid more) and continued shooting. While they were able to go to another site, they were busted at the Karnak temple complex. “Without being able to share words, I made it clear to Jesse that he had to delete the images if he saw the tiniest opportunity. Otherwise we would be screwed — big time,” she said. While she tried to claim they hadn’t shot pictures, only tested the light, Marisa and her photographer got thrown in jail and strip searched (lucky officers). But the officers couldn’t find anything, because they had deleted the pictures. But the officers still detained them. “The first cell we encountered was packed with at least 20 men. Some were passed out on the floor, some were squeezing their hands through the rails, some were bleeding and yelling,” Marisa said.

To make a long story short(er), after a few hours in jail they appeared before a final judge. “After being stuck there for several hours we finally got some more news, we had to go to court one last time to see what the final consequences would be. As soon as we entered ‘court-room’, our lawyer was waiting for us. I told him to move out of the way because probably the only thing he wanted was money and I wanted to speak for myself. We kept playing the role of stupid tourists that had no idea dancing in skin-colored underwear (we had to change up the story a little bit because otherwise we probably would have never gotten out) on Egyptian ground wasn’t allowed. Our judge was browsing with his big thumbs through these books that looked as old as the pyramids did. Eventually, he gave us a warning and told us never to do something so foolishly shameful ever again. We nodded simultaneously.” Marisa recovered the deleted pictures from the SIM card on the camera, and from the pictures, it looks like it was all worth it.

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