June 28 (UPI) — Nude imagery of Belgian model Marisa Papen reclining naked on a rooftop overlooking the Western Wall in Jerusalem has sparked outrage.
The rabbi of the site, considered the most sacred place where Jewish faithful can pray, condemned the photo shoot.
“This is an embarrassing incident, grave and lamentable, which offends the sanctity of the site and the feelings of those who visit the holy places,” Western Wall Rabbi Shmuel Rabinovich said.
On her website, Papen describes her way of life as “a naked form of freedom where masks are torn off and thrown in the ocean.”
Other photos from her Israel trip show her on the Dead Sea and straddling an Israeli flagpole.
“I am perplexed with the fact that people who believe a God created our bodies could think skin is offensive,” Papen wrote in a Facebook post Thursday.
Papen did not have permission to shoot at the Western Wall.
In September, the model sparked similar outrage on a trip to Egypt, where she was photographed wearing nothing but sunglasses for an Enki Eyewear ad campaign.
Of her trip to Egypt, she said she and the photographer were interrupted by a police officer at the pyramids in Cairo. She ultimately spent a night in jail for the guerrilla shoot at the Luxor archaeological site.
“We tried to explain them that we were making art with the highest respect for Egyptian culture, but they could not see a connection between nudity and art. In their eyes it was porn, or something like that,” she said.
“I knew that I wanted to push the boundaries of religion and politics even further,” she said of the Western Wall shoot.