Egypt dig unearths statue of pharaonic princess

Updated 07 March 2014
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Egypt dig unearths statue of pharaonic princess

CAIRO: Archaeologists in Egypt have found a nearly 3,500-year-old statue of the daughter of pharaoh Amenhotep III in the famed temple city of Luxor, the antiquities ministry said on Friday.
An Egyptian-European team uncovered the statue of princess Iset, 170 centimeters tall and 52 cm wide, during renovation work at the Amenhotep III mortuary temple on Luxor’s western bank, antiquities minister Mohamed Ibrahim said in a statement.
“The statue is part of a 14-meter-high (46-foot) alabaster sculpture of Amenhotep III that was at the entrance of the temple sanctuary,” team head Dr. Hourig Sourouzian said.
The sculpture features the 18th Dynasty ruler on his throne, his hands on his knees, his daughter standing between his legs, wearing a wig and a long tunic and holding a neckless in her right hand.
It is the first time a sculpture has been found that depicts the princess alone with her father: others show her with her two parents and her brothers, Sourouzian said.
The statue of the princess “was eroded, especially the face,” and the feet were missing, ministry official Ali El-Asfar said.
The princess’s name and her titles, among them “Love of her father,” were carved on the statue, Asfar added.
Luxor, a city of some 500,000 people on the banks of the Nile in southern Egypt, is an open-air museum of intricate temples and pharaonic tombs.


Malaysia mosque bans tourists after ‘sexy dance’ goes viral

Updated 25 June 2018
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Malaysia mosque bans tourists after ‘sexy dance’ goes viral

KUALA LUMPUR: A Malaysian mosque has banned tourists after a video of two female visitors in skimpy outfits dancing in front of the Muslim holy site went viral online.
The pair, of East Asian appearance and believed to be foreigners, were filmed doing the dance in skimpy shorts and tops exposing their midriffs on a wall outside the main mosque in the city of Kota Kinabalu, a popular site for visitors and tour groups.
Residents and local Muslim groups were incensed by the risqué moves outside the holy site on Borneo island, which is renowned for its huge blue and gold dome and ornate minarets.
An outraged onlooker can be heard in the video saying: “Why don’t they just fall off the wall?”
Mosque chairman Jamal Sakaran at the weekend slammed “the unacceptable behavior by foreign tourists” and announced a temporary halt to any tourists visiting the mosque in Sabah state, adding the move was to preserve the sanctity of Islam.
The nationality of the women involved was not clear.
State Tourism Minister Christina Liew told The Star newspaper legal action would not be taken against the pair as they were likely unaware of the severity of their actions. But authorities wanted to track them down to explain “that something they deemed as ‘fun’ was actually disrespectful and not right in Sabah.”
Large numbers of tourists — both local and foreign — visit the mosque, often during a brief stop in Kota Kinabalu before heading into the jungles of Sabah to see the jungle-clad state’s abundance of wildlife.
Tourists can usually visit mosques in Muslim-majority Malaysia, where most practice a moderate form of Islam, but are advised to wear modest clothing.
It is not the first time that foreign visitors have landed in hot water for disrespecting local culture in Sabah.
In 2015 four Western tourists pleaded guilty to obscenity charges for taking nude photos on popular peak Mount Kinabalu, an act some in the country blamed for causing a deadly earthquake.