The modern revivers of the cult of an ancient Roman gay god have claimed that Egyptian authorities are ignoring widespread looting of the Egyptian city named for him.
The Roman emperor Hadrian declared his male lover Antinous a god in the year 130AD after he fell into the river Nile and drowned.
Handrian founded the city Antinoopolis in Egypt nearby the site of his lover’s death and established an annual games in his memory.
Hadrian also named a star after him which was said to have appeared after his death.
Temples for Antinous were established all over the Roman Empire during Hadrian’s reign but were torn down by Christians after the cult was outlawed by the Christian Emperor Theodosius.
Many of the surviving statues of Antinous ended up in the Vatican Museum where they were seen by the artist Raphael who adopted him as a model for male perfection in painting angels.
The cult of Antinous was revived in 2002 and its followers now say that the ruins of Antinoopolis have been left to looters while officials turn a blind eye.
‘Nobody cares because Antinous is the god of gays, and they are embarrassed to mention that fact,’ said Antonyus Subia, head priest of the Hollywood Temple of Antinous.
‘Even the few news articles which have appeared about the destruction of Antinoopolis fail to mention Antinous at all.’
Subia said that the ruins of Antinoopolis were being systematically looted by tomb robbers and blamed poor law enforcement by the new Egyptian Government.
‘This is our gay heritage which is being destroyed,’ said Subia.
‘We urgently request all concerned gay people to contact their lawmakers and spread the word before the Gay City is lost forever.’