A Canadian woman has returned artifacts she stole from excavations in Pompeii, hoping to be emancipated from the “years of bad luck” that they brought to her.
According to Il Messaggero, a Rome-based Italian newspaper, a package containing mosaic tiles, pieces of an amphora, and marble fragments arrived at a travel agency near Pompeii, along with an apology letter from a woman identified only as Nicole.
“I’m 36 now and have had breast cancer twice, the last time ending in a double mastectomy. My family and I also had financial problems. We are good people and I don’t want to pass this curse on to my family or children,” Nicole wrote.
The woman said the relics she took home came from a place where people had died in a horrible way, and they contained “a lot of negative energy.”
The volcanic eruption of Mount Vesuvius wiped out the ancient city of Pompeii in the year 79 A.D. Scholars estimate that the eruption resulted in 16,000 deaths.
Nicole visited the remnants of Pompeii city in 2005, and pilfered the artifacts because she wanted “a piece of history that no one could have.” Now, she says she has learned her lesson.
“I just want to shake off the curse that has fallen on me and my family. Please accept these artifacts so that you do the right thing for the mistake I made,” Nicole wrote. “I am asking the forgiveness of the Gods.”
The Pompeii Archeological Park confirmed with CTV News that the artifacts had been returned to its original site in an email on October 12th.
In her missive, Nicole also confessed to giving her friends, Alastain and Kimberly, some of the artifacts.
According to the Il Messaggero report, the Carabinieri, the Italian national gendarmerie, received a letter signed by “Alastain and Kimberly G.,” who confessed to taking the loot from the historic site.
“I give you back these stones that my wife and I took while visiting Pompeii and Vesuvius in 2005. We took them without thinking of the pain and suffering that these poor souls felt during the eruption of Vesuvius and the terrible death they had. We are sorry and please forgive us for making this terrible choice,” the letter read.
This is not the first time that tourists have returned artifacts taken from the UNESCO World Heritage Site, claiming them to be cursed. In 2015, another Canadian woman returned a terracotta tile she took while visiting the city on her honeymoon several decades ago.