Photo: Darryl Brooks/Shutterstock

British Woman Arrested for Stealing Mosaic Tiles From Pompeii

News Archaeology
by Eben Diskin Apr 8, 2019

We know tourists are capable of the worst — they vandalize ancient structures and steal protected Komodo dragons. The latest case of bad tourist behavior is a 21-year-old British woman, who, while visiting the famous archaeological site of Pompeii in Italy, crossed a protective railing in the House of the Anchor, and used a tool to remove mosaic tiles from the floor. Staff called the police, and the woman was detained as she tried to leave. Damages amounted to about $3,378, according to the site’s manager.

Unfortunately, this isn’t the first incident of theft at the famous archaeological site. In 2016, an American removed a piece of marble from the floor of the House of the Small Fountain, and back in 2014, a guilt-ridden Canadian actually returned an artifact she had stolen from the Pompeii amphitheater during her honeymoon 50 years earlier. According to The Local, several thieves have similarly returned their stolen items, with letters of apology, claiming the items were cursed.

An exhibition of these returned artifacts, complete with the letters of apology, is now on display in Pompeii in hopes of deterring future thieves.


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