Peru takes dim view of nude tourism at Machu Picchu, the Inca ruins

Authorities increase surveillance at Machu Picchu, a popular spot for naked travel photos

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 12 March, 2014, 9:12pm
UPDATED : Wednesday, 12 March, 2014, 9:12pm


Peru has increased surveillance at popular archaeological sites to counter a new trend of tourists taking nude photos at the Machu Picchu Inca ruins.

Tourists have been posting the naked pictures on blogs, prompting a statement from the cultural ministry rejecting "any disrespectful act committed by visitors" to the sites.

"We have redoubled efforts for continuous surveillance and monitoring of the site", so security personnel could intervene to stop the exhibitionist photography, it said.

The ministry called on visitors to help protect the historical sites and to "be alert to this kind of attitude, that's solely aimed at getting attention".

Authorities are also worried over a recent spate of graffiti attacks.

Last week, the famous 12-Angle Stone - an example of intricate Incan masonry and design - was hit with spray paint, police said. The suspect had been involved in several other attacks on archaeological sites, they added.

"Although there are new techniques for erasing, the paint used could leave irreversible consequences for the most important stone in the Inca Roca Palace," a spokesman from the cultural ministry in Cusco said.

Ricardo Ruiz Caro, head of the ministry, said that in the first three months of this year "four similar spray-paint incidents have been recorded, adding to 33 remembered in 2013", including one at the key tourist site at the Incan imperial city.

The official announced the relaunch of the "Heritage Watchers" programme, with the support of universities, schools and neighbouring communities, in a crusade to defend the country's heritage.

Under Peruvian law, unauthorised destruction, alteration, sale or removal of any of the country's archaeological treasures is punishable by three to eight years in jail and a fine.