A tourist from Canada is believed to have returned five artifacts to Pompeii in Italy, which she had stolen from the site way back in 2005, on grounds that the stolen objects are ‘cursed’.
According to CNN, the woman, Nicole, sent back “two white mosaic tiles, two pieces of amphora vase and a piece of ceramic wall to the Archaeological Park of Pompeii”, along with a letter citing her reason for doing it. In the letter, she wrote that she was “young and dumb” when she had decided to steal the objects, adding that she “wanted to have a piece of history that couldn’t be bought”.
But, she has since been plagued with bad luck, she shared — having suffered “two bouts of breast cancer, resulting in a double mastectomy”, along with her family’s financial troubles.
“We can’t ever seem to get ahead in life,” she further wrote in the letter, purportedly blaming the bad luck on the stolen tiles, the outlet mentions.
“I took a piece of history captured in a time with so much negative energy attached to it. People died in such a horrible way and I took tiles related to that kind of destruction,” Nicole wrote, referring to when the Mount Vesuvius nearby had erupted in 79 AD, showering Pompeii and its residents with hot rock, volcanic ash and toxic gas.
She also told the Archaeological Park of Pompeii that she had given one of the tiles to a friend, and that she does not know if they are interested in returning it.
“We are good people and I don’t want to pass this curse on to my family, my children or myself anymore. Please forgive my careless act that I did years ago,” she wrote, as mentioned in the CNN report.
A spokesperson for the park told the outlet that over the years, many visitors have returned small artifacts like mosaic tiles and pieces of plaster that they stole during a visit to Pompeii.
A vast archaeological site in southern Italy’s Campania region, Pompeii continues to interest tourists, and history and archaeology enthusiasts.