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Hawass denies forbidding tourists from picturing historic sites

Egyptian Secretary General of the Supreme Council of Antiquities (SCA) Zahi Hawass denied on Monday forbidding tourists form photographing Egyptian historic sites.

According to a statement of Egyptian Culture Ministry, Hawass said "it is allowed to take pictures for the open monuments area," it is not allowed to take pictures only inside the ancient tombs in order to save paintings from the bad effects of cameras' flash.

He added that any official who halts tourists from taking pictures at the open historic areas, like Pyramids or Temples of Luxor, would be charged, as these photos are part of their memories during visiting Egypt.

Egypt recorded 12.855 million tourists and 10.99 billion U.S. dollars in tourism revenue in 2008, according to a report issued by Central Agency for Public Mobilization and Statistics (CAPMAS).

Egypt expects to increase its travelers to 14 million and the tourism revenue to 12 billion dollars in 2011.