Destinations

Canadian tourist sends “cursed” artefacts back to Pompeii

Ali Coulton

Ali Coulton

A travel agent in Italy’s Pompeii has received a peculiar package containing “cursed” ancient ruins and a letter of confession.

The package, which was sent by a Canadian woman known only as Nicole, contained two mosaic tiles, part of an amphora and a piece of ceramics accompanied by a confession note, according to The Guardian.

In the note, Nicole claimed to have stolen the artifacts from the ancient city of Pompeii 15 years ago when she was in her 20s and said they had given her and her family bad luck.

She said she had been diagnosed with breast cancer twice and was experiencing financial problems since taking the items.

“Please, take them back, they bring bad luck,” she said in the note.

Nicole confessed to having taken the artifacts because she wanted a piece of history, but said they contained “so much negative energy … linked to that land of destruction”.

“I am now 36 and had breast cancer twice, the last time ending in a double mastectomy. My family and I also had financial problems.

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

Pompeii is an archaeological site near Naples that was once a thriving Roman city until an eruption from Mount Vesuvius buried it under meters of ash and pumice in 79AD.

It was uncovered in the 16th century, offering invaluable insights into Roman society and is now one of Italy’s most visited tourist attractions.

The package also contained a confession from another Canadian couple along with some stones they had stolen from the site in 2005.

“We took them without thinking of the pain and suffering these poor souls experienced during the eruption of Vesuvius and their terrible death,” they wrote, according to the Guardian.

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

This isn’t the first time tourists have sent artifacts back to the site claiming they were cursed, with Pompeii’s archaeological superintendent, Massimo Osanna, telling the National Post in 2015 that he has received up to 100 packages of the same nature from across the world.

“Even proper thieves have returned things to us,” he said.

Osanna confessed he had even been considering setting up an exhibition of all the letters of confession he has received over the years.


Featured image source: iStock/Xantana

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