Egypt Banned the Tourist who Climbed the Great Pyramid of Giza

Giza Pyramid Complex with two camels in front on hazy day
Photo: Bruce Yuanyue Bi / Getty Images

A picture's worth a thousand words, including—in the case of a law-breaking tourist—the words "banned for life."

Egypt recently announced that 18-year-old German tourist Andrej Ciesielski is no longer welcome in the country after illegally scaling the 4,500-year-old Great Pyramid of Giza to take photos.

Two weeks ago, Ciesielski broke Egyptian law and climbed up 455 feet of the ancient pyramid and snapped (admittedly gorgeous) photos of the nearby Pyramid of Khafre. According to Ahram Online, once Ciesielski was back on the ground, he was arrested by the antiquities and tourism police, only to be released on the grounds that he was ignorant of the anti-pyramid climbing law. He was free to go after promising to never to climb a pyramid again. And while his photographs and videos were confiscated by the authorities, Ciesielski still managed to share the images on Instagram and Facebook.

Now, Egyptian Streets reports that Egypt's Minister of Antiquities has officially notified the German Embassy in Cairo that Ciesielski is banned for life and may never return to Egypt.

The Egyptian government has outlawed climbing the pyramids to protect the ancient monuments, which are some of the last remaining wonders of the ancient world. Climbing the pyramids is also banned because it's exceedingly dangerous, and typically anyone caught scaling the pyramids face up to three years in an Egyptian jail.

This wasn't Ciesielski's first climbing stunt. He has scaled buildings in Cairo, Dubai, Spain, and Hong Kong, as part of what Hyperallergic calls "the global trend of "rooftopping," a past-time that combines trespassing, dizzying heights, free climbing, and photography.

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