The Curse of Pompeii: Horrified tourists return stolen artifacts to the museum
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The Curse of Pompeii: Horrified tourists return stolen artifacts to the museum

13 October , 11:01Society
The museum, which displays fragments of mosaics and ceramics stolen and then returned by tourists, is replenished with new exhibits: unlucky thieves rush to get rid of the "curse of Pompeii".

Irina Ziganshina

A new victim of the "curse of Pompeii" was a Canadian woman who visited the excavation site 15 years ago, took away several "souvenirs" from there, and over the following years experienced so many misfortunes that she thought it best to send the artifacts back. A travel agency in Pompeii received a parcel from a Canadian with two pieces of mosaic, fragments of an amphora and a piece of pottery. The package was accompanied by a letter of confession, writes The Guardian.

A woman named Nicole was in her early 20s when in 2005 she visited the archaeological park of Pompeii and decided to take with her a piece of history that “no one else would have”. But what happened in her life after that led her to believe that the relics contained "too much negative energy associated with this land of destruction".

“I am now 36 years old and have had breast cancer twice”, Nicole said in a letter. - The last time it ended with a double mastectomy. My family and I also had financial problems. We are good people and I don't want to pass this curse onto my family and children". As Nicole wrote, she has learned her lesson and dreams only that God would forgive her, and therefore asks to accept the contents of the parcel from her: "Please take them back, they bring misfortune".

In the same package from Canada, there was another letter from a couple who also visited Pompeii in 2005, and now asked permission to return several stones taken from the excavations: “We took them without thinking about what suffering the victims had to endure eruption of Vesuvius, and their death. We are very sorry about this and ask you to forgive us. May these poor souls rest in peace".

Pompeii, buried in volcanic ash and lava by the eruption of Vesuvius in 79 AD and rediscovered only at the end of the 16th century, it is one of the most popular attractions in Italy. The problem of theft has always been here. However, they returned the stolen goods, accompanying the parcels with words of sincere remorse, so often that the park staff created a museum that displays the newly acquired artifacts. Usually people take away "souvenirs" for personal use, but sometimes the stolen goods pop up on the online market - for example, five years ago, eBay offered a stone recovered from the ruins in 1958.

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