Cambodia has deported two American sisters who took nude photos of themselves inside the country’s historic and revered Angkor Wat temple complex.
Lindsey Adams, 22, and her sister Leslie, 20, from Prescott, Arizona are the latest tourists to be convicted of public exposure and making pornographic images - sparking public anger.
They each received a six month suspended sentence and a fine of 1 million riel (£160) at Siem Reap Provincial Court and the pair will be barred from entering the country for four years.
Authorities detained the sisters after they were discovered taking pictures of their bare buttocks inside the Preah Khan Temple on Friday, according to ABC News.
The body which oversees temples in Cambodia, Apsara, said that the women confessed to their crimes and accepted they had made a mistake.
"Perhaps they did not know Angkor is a holy site. But their inappropriate activities affect the sanctity of the place,” Chau Sun Kerya, an Apsara spokesperson, told AFP, adding they had violated “sacred ground”.
Angkor Wat, a world heritage site, was built in the twelfth century and has remained a significant spiritual and religious site since its creation. It features on Cambodia’s flag and has become a symbol for the country and its people.
But there is anger at the insensitivity of the many thousands of tourists, many of whom are British, who visit Angkor Wat and other sites across the country each year.
Cambodia has been hit by a spate of nude photos at sensitive locations in recent months, according to reports in the Phnom Penh Post.
In January three French tourists were arrested and deported for taking naked photos at the Banteay Kdei temple and officials were incensed at pictures of a topless dancer at Angkor, which surfaced on Facebok.