She has been described as "a vision of the future" who is every bit as good as other abstract artists today, but Ai-Da – the world's first ultra-realistic robot artist – hit a temporary snag before her latest exhibition when Egyptian security forces detained her at customs. Ai-Da is due to open and present her work at the Great Pyramid of Giza on Thursday, the first time contemporary art has been allowed next to the pyramid in thousands of years. But because of "security issues" that may include concerns that she is part of a wider espionage plot, both Ai-Da and her sculpture were held in Egyptian customs for 10 days before being released on Wednesday, sparking a diplomatic fracas. "The British ambassador has been working through the night to get Ai-Da released, but we're right up to the wire now," said Aidan Meller, the human force behind Ai-Da, shortly before her release. According to Meller, border guards detained Ai-Da at first because she had a modem, and then because she had cameras in her eyes (which she uses to draw and paint).