A young tourist, whose name remains unknown, sent a handful of pumice stones and a letter to Italy apologizing for stealing the stones during a trip to the ancient city of Pompeii.
The woman writes that she did not know that these stones were cursed, but within a year after she brought these stones to her home, she was diagnosed with breast cancer.
“I didn’t know about the curse. I didn’t know I wasn’t allowed to take stones from there. Within a year I got breast cancer. I’m a young and healthy female and the doctors said it was just bad luck. Please accept my apology and these pieces of stones . I’m really sorry”.
The Italian city of Pompeii was buried under a thick layer of ash during the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 79 AD. Only in the 16th century it was accidentally discovered, and excavations began in the 18th century.
Now this city is actively visited by tourists, who are strictly prohibited from taking any historical artifacts from there, as well as breaking off pieces of the walls.
The tourist’s letter was published online by Gabriel Zuchtriegel, director of the Pompeii Archaeological Park, with the following comment: “Dear anonymous sender of this letter, the pumice stones have arrived in Pompeii. Good luck in the future.”
This is not the first time that tourists have returned stolen ancient objects to Pompeii, believing that they are cursed.
In 2020, a Canadian woman named Nicole sent a package to Italy containing two mosaic tiles, parts of an amphora and a piece of pottery that she had stolen in Pompeii.
Nicole, who traveled to Pompeii in 2005, said she was returning them after they brought her “15 years of bad luck”. She wrote a confession letter detailing her theft and the misfortunes that followed, including two cases of breast cancer and financial difficulties.
“Please take them back, they bring bad luck,” Nicole wrote.
She explained that she took the artifacts because she wanted to own a piece of history that no one else had, but they contained “so much negative energy associated with this land of destruction.”
According to Gabrielle Zuchtriegel, over the entire period they have received hundreds of similar letters of apology from thieving tourists. Many of them also referred to the curse.
“Many people write to us about the supposed curse and tell us about the misfortunes they suffered at work and during illness: these are touching and sad things. Many write about returning items stolen when they were children, these are thefts that happened decades ago”.