Canadian woman returns 'cursed' artefacts stolen from Pompeii
The archaeological site of Pompeii is one of Italy's most popular attractions - TIZIANA FABI / AFP via Getty Images
A package containing artifacts stolen from the ancient site of Pompeii was delivered to a travel agency in the southern Italian city. One of the letters stated that they were "cursed".
The letter, written in English by a Canadian named Nicole, said the relics were stolen in Pompeii in 2005 while visiting the archaeological site.
"Take them back, please, they bring bad luck," wrote the woman. The package contained two pieces of mosaic, one piece of ceramic and two pieces of an amphora.
Pompeii is one of the most visited ancient sites in Italy. A sudden eruption of Mount Vesuvius in AD 79 buried the city, which was largely preserved under ashes.
Pompeii's cobbled Via di Nola - FILIPPO MONTEFORTE / AFP via Getty Images
The woman said that after bringing the stolen artifacts to Canada, a series of tragic events had affected her life and she decided to send them back.
"I took some of these pieces when I visited Pompeii in 2005. I was young and stupid and I wanted a piece of history that nobody had," she wrote in her letter, according to Italian press reports.
"I stole a piece of history that contained a lot of negative energy," she said. “The people there died terribly. The bad luck played with me and my family. "
The woman, who said she was 36 years old and had breast cancer twice, added that she asked for "God's forgiveness" and promised to return to Italy in the future to apologize personally.
"We are good people ... I just want to get rid of this curse from myself and my family," she wrote. "Please take back these artifacts so I can do the right thing and correct the mistake I made."
The owner of the travel agency gave the artifacts to the Carabinieri police in the archaeological park.
Unruly behavior by local and foreign tourists visiting the archaeological site of Pompeii is not uncommon and often requires police intervention.
Visitors are not allowed to touch any monuments on the site, which has long had problems with vandalism and artifact theft.
In mid-August, local police opened an investigation after a tourist climbed onto the roof of a bathhouse to take a selfie.
The probe was launched after pictures of the unidentified woman were shared online, causing controversy.
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