Egyptian Pyramids, Sphinx Close to Public for Billionaire’s Wedding – ARTnews

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Ancient Egyptian pyramids and the Great Sphinx in Giza were briefly shuttered to the public this week because of a tech billionaire’s wedding.

That billionaire, Ankur Jain, and fitness trainer Erika Hammond reportedly paid to have those sites closed down for their wedding, a week-long celebration that is estimated to have cost upward of $3 million. The event, which has since gone viral on TikTok, offered guests a private tour of the pyramids and the sphinx without interruption, as well as a close look at a statue of Ramses II.

The couple also hosted a party at the Grand Egyptian Museum, which is thought to be the largest constructed museum in the world devoted to a single civilization. That institution, which cost $1 billion to build, is still not open to the public, though it is expected to begin welcoming visitors later this year.

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Jain and Hammond wed at sunset between two of the pyramids before celebrating with a star-studded reception with performances by Robin Thicke, Lance Bass, and Lindsey Stirling.

Accounts of the wedding events have generated hearty debate across multiple social media platforms, with many claiming that the event was needlessly extravagant.

Jain is the founder and CEO of Bilt Rewards loyalty program. Hammond is a former WWE champion and fitness mogul.

The event was supported by the country itself. Egypt Independent reported that Zahi Hawass, Egypt’s Minister of Tourism and Antiquities of Egypt, was among those who attended the wedding. Per that publication, Jain and Hammond paid $200,000 to host a party near a sculpture of Ramses II.

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