A British woman liked so much an ancient mosaic floor tile at Pompeii that she removed it as a souvenir. The local police detained the thief, Independent reported.
The young British woman made the headlines after she deliberately removed the floor tiles using a tool to dislodge tiles from a Roman mosaic in the House of Anchor site. Being an ordinary visitor of Pompeii, the woman came there to know a bit more about the world-famous place but was escorted by Italian police instead.
Staff who saw the tourist vandalises the ancient tile called the police, who detained the UK citizen to the precinct. According to the site’s manager, worth of damage had been done estimates about €3,000. Unfortunately, Pompeii, the World Heritage Site, has struggled with light-fingered visitors who steal ancient artefacts. However, some thieves are repentant. In 2014, a Canadian tourist reportedly returned a relic she had stolen from Pompeii’s amphitheatre whilst honeymooning 50 years earlier.
Meanwhile, the modern thieves are not so conscious, Pompeii site managers say. In 2018, two French men were caught with a backpack containing 13 ancient ceramic fragments and a slab of Roman marble. One of them, the 52-year-old Pierre Luc Giglio, was given a suspended sentence of four months and ordered to pay a €200 fine, according to Italian media.
According to exhibition managers, often people are returning the stolen artefacts claiming that the pieces from Pompeii are “cursed”.
The world-famous Pompeii exhibition displaying the returned items and accompanying letters has recently been established at the historic site to tell the story behind the pilfered relics – and hopefully discourage potential thieves. In fact, it is no good to steal from the museum.
One of the most popular tourist attractions in Italy, Pompeii is also one of the most famous archaeological sites in the world. This ancient city was decimated in 79 AD, when Mount Vesuvius erupted, burying the city under ash, which keeps the old Italian secrets very thoroughly.