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Humanoid robot arrested at Cairo airport under pretext of espionage

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Gaston de Persigny
Gaston de Persigny
Gaston de Persigny - Reporter at The European Times News

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“She” is called Ai-Da. Under this gracious name hides a humanoid robot created by British artist Aidan Meller. Ai-Da should have been part of a contemporary art exhibition held at the Great Pyramid of Giza. Instead, upon arrival at Cairo airport last October, she found herself in Egyptian jails.

Ai-Da is a very realistic human-looking robot. The work of contemporary art specialist and gallery owner Aidan Meller, she is presented as a humanoid robot woman capable of creating works of art.

While she was to “present” in Egypt her own work of art, a clay sculpture based on a revisiting of the famous enigma that the Sphinx submits to Oedipus, Ai-Da was simply arrested at Cairo airport. and detained. Without access to his electric charging device, says The Times.

The reason for the anger or overzealousness of the suspicious Egyptian customs officials? According to Aidan Meller, as reported by The Guardian, border guards arrested Ai-Da for wearing a modem and having cameras in her eyes, used to draw and paint. Egyptian customs officials appeared to fear that Ai-Da was part of a “spy plot,” in the face of this curious elaborate computer tool, says The Guardian.

“I can give up modems, but I can not really tear his eyes out,” quipped the creator of this robot placed under arrest.

Ai-Da and her sculpture were therefore held at Egyptian customs for ten days, before being released on October 21, just in time for the exhibition at the foot of the Great Pyramid of Giza, to which she was however officially invited. To obtain this release, it took a “diplomatic crash” on the part of the British authorities, notes The Guardian.

Ai-Da can now present her work, a clay sculpture 2.5 meters wide and 2 meters high representing her with “three legs”, at the international exhibition Forever is Now, which will run until November 7. . The exhibition will also feature works by leading Egyptian and international artists, says The Guardian.

Photo: Ai-Da and her creator Aidan Meller, in Oxford, Great Britain on June 4, 2019. / Mattew Stock / REUTERS

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