Canadian tourist returns stolen artefacts to Pompeii because they were 'cursed'

A package containing artefacts stolen from the ancient site of Pompeii was delivered to a nearby travel agent with a letter saying they were "cursed".

The letter, written in English by a Canadian woman, said the relics were stolen in 2005, during a visit to the archaeological site in southern Italy.

"Take them back, please, they bring bad luck," the woman, named Nicole, wrote.

The package contained two mosaic pieces, two parts of an amphora and a piece of ceramic.

Pompeii is one of Italy's most visited ancient sites. A sudden eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 79AD buried the Roman town, which was largely preserved under ash.

The woman said that after taking the artefacts to Canada, her life was struck by tragedy. "I took some of these pieces when I visited Pompeii in 2005. I was young and stupid, and I wanted to have a piece of history," she wrote, according to reports in Italy.

"I stole a piece of history that had lots of negative energy inside," she said. "People there died in horrible ways. Bad luck played with me and my family."

The woman said she was 36, had twice had breast cancer and was asking for "God's forgiveness".

"We're good people... I just want to shake this curse off me and my family," she added. The owner of the Italian travel agency handed over the artefacts to the police.

Pompeii has long suffered from incidents of theft and vandalism.

The Telegraph, London