Three European tourists expelled from Machu Picchu over nude photos


Lima (AFP)

Three European tourists were banished from the Incan citadel Machu Picchu in Peru after taking photos of themselves exposing their backsides, police said Wednesday.

The visitors -- a 21-year-old from Germany, a 24-year-old from Switzerland and a 26-year-old from the Netherlands -- were expelled from the site on Tuesday, according to authorities.

"The three tourists dropped their pants to show their buttocks and took photos," police official Martin Flores told AFP. "That is not allowed ... in accordance with internal rules in place there, the three tourists were expelled, but they were not detained."

Peruvian authorities consider undressing at Machu Picchu disrespectful. The majestic 15th century stone citadel -- the jewel in Peru's tourism industry -- is located 74 kilometers (45 miles) from Cusco, former capital of the Incan Empire, in southeastern Peru.

Built on the top of a mountain, it blends into surrounding thick foliage.

In June 2014 Peru's culture ministry reiterated that nudity is banned after a wave of visitors snapping offensive pictures.

Spanish colonizers never knew of Machu Picchu, a UNESCO world heritage site since 1983. It was discovered in 1911 by American explorer Hiram Bingham.