A tourist who stole pieces from the ancient Italian city of Pompeii 15 years ago has returned them, saying they ‘cursed’ her and her family. The Canadian woman sent the stolen ceramic fragments to a travel agent in Pompeii along with a letter of confession and a request that they be returned to the Archaeological Park of Pompeii, reports The Guardian.
The woman, identified only as Nicole, sent back two white mosaic tiles, two pieces of amphora vase and a piece of ceramic wall. In her letter, she said she took them while visiting the historic city in 2005.
“I wanted to have a piece of history that couldn’t be bought,” wrote Nicole, according to CNN. She said she was “young and dumb” at the time and that the relics had “negative energy”.
After returning with them to Canada, she suffered a series of misfortunes, including two bouts of breast cancer and financial hardships. “I am now 36 and had breast cancer twice,” she said. “The last time ending in a double mastectomy. My family and I also had financial problems. We’re good people and I don’t want to pass this curse on to my family or children.”
“Please, take them back, they bring bad luck,” she wrote.
In her letter, Nicole said that she returned everything she took from the ancient city of Pompeii, except for a tile which she gave to a friend.
After the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 79AD, Pompeii was buried in volcanic ash. After its rediscovery in the 16th century, it has become one of the most popular tourist destinations of Italy.
A spokesperson for the Archaeological Park of Pompeii said that over the years, about a 100 people have returned small artefacts that they stole from the city, claiming that they cursed them or brought bad luck. A selection of letters and returned artifacts has been put on display at the Pompeii Antiquarium.
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