50 Years Later, Woman Returns Stolen Piece of Pompeii

She felt bad about taking the artifact during her honeymoon
By Matt Cantor,  Newser User
Posted Nov 1, 2014 2:00 PM CDT
A woman stole an artifact from Pompeii during her honeymoon.   (AP Photo/Salvatore Laporta)

(Newser) – It's been more than half a century since a certain unidentified Canadian woman took a piece of Pompeii home with her, but it seems her guilt got the better of her: She has finally brought it back to the site, the BBC reports. The woman was on her honeymoon when she picked up a decoration from a theater entrance in the ancient city, which was covered in volcanic ash in 79 AD. Now, the woman is in her 70s. "I regret what I did. I want to remedy (it)," she tells an Italian paper, via the International Business Times.

"This has no precedents, the fact that someone was pushed by the weight of their conscience to hand back what they had taken," says an official in Naples. The object wasn't necessarily priceless in itself, but "it was an element of ornament at the quadriporticus (rectangular open area) in Pompeii, where everything has its value," the official says, per the BBC. It's still in good condition, the Business Times reports. The woman won't be fined; instead, officials hope others who have taken items from the site will follow her example. (Pompeii continues to offer new findings: Thanks to work at the site, researchers recently learned that Romans ate giraffe.)

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