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food / travel

Streaking To New Heights: Machu Picchu, Nude Backpackers Edition

So serene...
So serene...

Proud of its more than 4,000-year history and heritage, Peru is starting to take exception to certain tourist pranks at venerable sites — most notably, the new fad of posing nude atop Machu Picchu, and sharing the photos online.

The cases of in-the-buff visitors at the 15th Century Inca citadel, a UNESCO World Heritage site, has been happening "with increasing" frequency since 2013, local police have reported. At least 12 tourists have been held since December and had their cameras or smartphones confiscated before they could share their lewdness on the Internet, according to El Espectador, citing EFE and agency reports.

The most recent detentions were of an Australian and Canadian caught flashing last week. An Israeli tourist was quoted as telling the BBC last year that yes, he did run naked through the citadel but "when there was nobody around and knowing this is a sacred site for the Peruvians, and above all, he did it with a lot of respect."

Peru's Deputy-Heritage Minister Luis Jaime Castillo called such antics "crimes against culture." Peruvian sociologist Liuba Koban cautioned that such reactions were excessive, reminding authorities protagonists were often from countries where nudity was nothing deplorable.

Pictures have been posted on the Desnudos en Monumentos account on Facebook, and the antics have been fuelling nudist trends in other neighboring conservative countries.

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