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Pompeii artifacts returned by tourist who claimed 'curse'

A Canadian tourist named Nicole sent a package to a travel agent in Italy containing artifacts that she took from Pompeii 15 years earlier. The woman said the items had brought a curse into her life. Photo by Graham-H/Pixabay.com
A Canadian tourist named Nicole sent a package to a travel agent in Italy containing artifacts that she took from Pompeii 15 years earlier. The woman said the items had brought a "curse" into her life. Photo by Graham-H/Pixabay.com

Oct. 12 (UPI) -- A contrite Canadian woman who took pieces from the ancient Italian city of Pompeii 15 years ago returned the fragments with a letter explaining how they brought a "curse" to her life.

The woman, who signed the letter with the name Nicole, said she visited the Archaeological Park of Pompeii when she was "young and dumb" about 15 years ago.

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She said she took items from the site, where hot rock, volcanic ash and noxious gas had buried the ancient city and its residents when Mount Vesuvius erupted in the year 79.

Nicole's letter -- which accompanied a package containing two mosaic tiles, parts of an amphora and a piece of ceramics -- said she had experienced a string of bad luck since the theft that included two bouts with breast cancer.

"Please, take them back, they bring bad luck," she wrote.

The woman said the package contained everything she took from Pompeii, except for a tile she had given away to a friend.

"We are good people and I don't want to pass this curse on to my family, my children or myself anymore," she wrote. "Please forgive my careless act that I did years ago."

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The package was sent to a travel agent in Pompeii with a request that the items be returned to the park.

A spokeswoman for the archaeological park said there have been about a hundred previous incidents of tourists sending Pompeii artifacts back to the city along with apologetic notes claiming the objects were cursed. The park has established a museum to display the returned items and the letters from apologetic tourists.

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