Russian photographer apologizes for pyramid photos
March 28, 2013 -- Updated 2111 GMT (0511 HKT)
- Russian photographer caused sensation with pictures from top of the Pyramid
- Vadim Makhorov explains how and why he did it
- Makhorov: "I would like to apologize for this ascension."
(CNN) -- Was it the ultimate adventure or an audacious act of disrespect that should be punished by law?
An Internet sensation was touched off this week by Russian photographer Vadim Makhorov and a group of his friends -- the group ignored regulations prohibiting the public from climbing on the Pyramids at Giza, Egypt, and came away with spectacular photos.
The images from Makhorov and another photographer, Vitaliy Raskalov, were taken on top of the Pyramids from positions that avoided detection by guards. The photos have incited reactions ranging from envy and awe to indignation and concern for the preservation of the ancient wonders.
Russian photographer Vitaliy Raskalov and his friends climbed the Great Pyramid of Giza. Climbing the Pyramids has been forbidden for decades for safety and preservation reasons.
In an email to CNN, Makhorov now explains his reasons for flouting the regulations, and issues an apology to Egypt and the world.
Vadim Makhorov's email to CNN
"I've always been drawn to Egypt. For as long as I can remember my dream was to get to the top of the Great Pyramid of Giza.
"When my friends and I arrived in Cairo the first thing we decided to do was to go and see the pyramids. We got there in the evening, just in time to witness the laser show.
"No words can express the fascination I felt when seeing my childhood dream come alive. Probably this very feeling made us climb onto the top of the Pyramid and see the the panorama of the whole complex, the desert and Cairo itself.
"It was already pitch black and nobody paid us any attention. We started climbing as fast and as soundless as we could. You have to be quite strong and agile to climb onto a meter-high block covered with dust.
"The thought that we were going to witness something spectacular pushed us forward."
"It was exhausting, but the thought that we were going to witness something spectacular pushed us forward.
"It took us around 20 minutes to get to the top. We were taken breathless by the view.
"What we saw from up there was the seventh wonder of the world. We tried to capture the beauty of the scenery in the photos, so that the others could also see this magnificent panorama.
"We, of course, were not the first who dared to climb the pyramid.
"The pyramid's peak was filled with different inscriptions in many languages, some of them being hundreds years old.
"After enjoying the view for some time we started the descent. It turned out to be harder then climbing up. We were very lucky not to get [caught]. We would have been in serious trouble if we did.
"That's why I would like to apologize for this ascension. We didn't want to insult anyone. We were just following the dream."
Today's five most popular stories
Part of complete coverage on
December 16, 2014 -- Updated 2245 GMT (0645 HKT)
Pakistan Taliban say the school attack was revenge for the killing of children in a military offensive -- but they are being pressed by defections to ISIS.
A group that claims it hacked Sony Pictures has posted a public threat against moviegoers who see Sony's "The Interview."
December 18, 2014 -- Updated 0243 GMT (1043 HKT)
The gunman behind the deadly siege in Sydney this week was not on a security watch list, and Australia's Prime Minister wants to know why.
December 18, 2014 -- Updated 0948 GMT (1748 HKT)
Bestselling author Marjorie Liu had set her sights on being a lawyer, but realized it wasn't what she wanted to do for the rest of her life.
December 16, 2014 -- Updated 2027 GMT (0427 HKT)
CNN's Matthew Chance looks into an HRW report saying Russia has "legalized discrimination against LGBT people."
December 16, 2014 -- Updated 0212 GMT (1012 HKT)
The Sydney siege has brought home some troubling truths to Australians. They are not immune to what are often called "lone-wolf" terror attacks.
December 16, 2014 -- Updated 0012 GMT (0812 HKT)
A social media campaign condemning Islamophobia under the hashtag #illridewithyou has taken off after Sydney hostage siege.
Bill Cosby has kept quiet as sexual assault allegations mounted against him, but his wife, Camille, finally spoke out in defense of her husband.
December 15, 2014 -- Updated 1144 GMT (1944 HKT)
China-bound AirAsia flight turns back to Bangkok after passenger throws water over crew member.
December 15, 2014 -- Updated 1026 GMT (1826 HKT)
It takes Nepalese eye doctor, Sanduk Ruit about five minutes to change someone's life.
December 16, 2014 -- Updated 1054 GMT (1854 HKT)
This epic journey crosses 13,000 kilometers, eight countries over 21 days. Find out where.
December 19, 2014 -- Updated 1431 GMT (2231 HKT)
Each day, CNN brings you an image capturing a moment to remember, defining the present in our changing world.
Browse through images from CNN teams around the world that you don't always see on news reports.