Curse of Pompeii Tourist returned stolen stones APA Austria Press

“Curse of Pompeii”: Tourist returned stolen stones APA Austria Press Agency

The director of the Pompeii Archaeological Park, Gabrielzuchtriegel, recently received, anonymously, some small pumice artifacts that the woman had stolen during a visit. The tourist apologized in a handwritten letter in English.

“I didn't know about the curse. I didn't know I shouldn't have picked up the rocks. Within a year I was diagnosed with cancer. I'm young and healthy and the doctors say it's just “bad luck”. Please accept my apology and these pieces. I’m so sorry,” the woman wrote.

German cultural manager Bredingriegel responded immediately. “Dear anonymous sender of this letter… the pumice stones have arrived in Pompeii…. Now, good luck for your future and 'in bocca al lupo' ('good luck' in Italian, editor's note), as we say in Italy,” said reproindoriegel. In X he published a photo of the letter and the three returned pumice stones.

The Roman city of Pompeii on the Gulf of Naples was devastated in AD 79 when Mount Vesuvius erupted and ash and lava buried the settlement. Around 2,000 people died. The city was rediscovered in the 19th century. Today, Pompeii is one of the best-preserved ancient city ruins and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

In 2020, a Canadian woman who stole some stones from the 2005 excavations also returned them to the archaeological park, saying she had had no luck since the theft. Serious financial and health problems have plagued the 36-year-old since she stole stones from excavations during a visit to Pompeii, she stressed. The woman apologized for her actions, from which she learned a lot. “I was young and stupid. I wanted to take a piece of history home and I didn't think about what exactly I was taking with me: a piece of history in which a strong negative energy was petrified. Many people died horribly and I took stones from this devastated area ,” the woman wrote.