Tourist Returns Stolen Artefacts From Pompeii Claiming They’re Cursed

by : Emily Brown on : 12 Oct 2020 11:27
Tourist Returns Stolen Artefacts From Pompeii Claiming They're CursedPixabay/PA Images

A tourist who stole artefacts from the ancient city of Pompeii in 2005 begged for them to be taken back after allegedly suffering 15 years of bad luck. 

The Canadian woman, identified only as Nicole, stole items including two mosaic tiles, parts of an amphora and a piece of ceramics while on a trip to Pompeii’s archaeological park in her early 20s.


In a letter of confession written to a travel agent this year, Nicole admitted she took the artefacts because she wanted a piece of history that ‘nobody could have’.


In the years after her trip to Pompeii, Nicole, who is now 36, revealed she had suffered with breast cancer twice, ‘the last time ending in a double mastectomy’, and that she and her family also struggled with financial problems.

Per The Guardian, her letter continued:


We’re good people and I don’t want to pass this curse on to my family or children.

Nicole asked the travel agent to ‘please take them back’, saying that the relics ‘bring bad luck’ and that they had ‘so much negative energy… linked to that land of destruction.’


She added that she had learned her lesson and wanted ‘forgiveness from God’.


Nicole wasn’t the only one to ask for forgiveness as her package included a second letter of confession from a Canadian couple, who admitted to stealing stones from the ancient site in 2005.

They wrote:

We took them without thinking of the pain and suffering these poor souls experienced during the eruption of Vesuvius and their terrible death.

We are sorry, please forgive us for making this terrible choice. May their souls rest in peace.


Pompeii is one of Italy’s most visited attractions and allows tourists to see the city preserved as it was when it was covered in volcanic ash after the catastrophic eruption of Mount Vesuvius, a volcano near the Bay of Naples in Italy.

Two thousand people died in the eruption in AD79 and the site lay buried until the 16th century, when it was rediscovered and revealed an insight to life in the classical world, with buildings, artefacts and skeletons mostly in tact under a thick layer of dust and debris.

Pompeii artefactsPixabay

In 1997, the city became a designated UNESCO World Heritage site.


Tourists have long been known to steal from the site, but over the years so many artefacts have been returned, along with letters expressing guilt, that park officials established a museum to display the relics.

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Emily Brown

Emily Brown first began delivering important news stories aged just 13, when she launched her career with a paper round. She graduated with a BA Hons in English Language in the Media from Lancaster University, and went on to become a freelance writer and blogger. Emily contributed to The Sunday Times Travel Magazine and Student Problems before becoming a journalist at UNILAD, where she works on breaking news as well as longer form features.

Topics: Life, Archaeology, Italy, Now


The Guardian
  1. The Guardian

    Tourist returns stolen artefacts from Pompeii 'after suffering curse'