American tourist returns ancient artifact she stole to Rome, apologizes in note: ‘I feel bad’
“I saw it delivered in the morning. A large, fairly heavy package, carefully packed. “
A note was attached: A woman admitted to stealing the ancient piece of marble, apparently from the Roman Forum, while on vacation in Italy in 2017.
The woman said she was sorry to be, in her own words, “such an American hole”, Independent newspaper reports. She also apologized for writing on the marble relic, which carried the message: “To Sam, love Jess, Rome 2017.”
“I feel terrible not only to have stolen this artifact in its rightful place, but also to have written on it like that,” said the note, translated from the report into Italian. “It was very bad of me and it’s only now, as an adult, that I realize how reckless and despicable it was to do it. I spent hours trying to delete the writing, but no luck. “
The package was sent from Atlanta.
Despite the degradation of the coin, the new director of the National Roman Museum forgave the rebellious tourist, telling Il Messaggero that the note touched him.
“It affected me precisely because she is a young woman,” said Stéphane Verger. “She realized she was wrong. It is a spontaneous gesture, but the fruit of conscious reflection.
He called the return of the article a “very important symbolic gesture.”
The stranger’s apologies have been widely covered up in Italy, which has long struggled to prevent theft and vandalism of its historic heritage. The museum did not provide details of the returned marble artifact.
The open-air Roman Forum, which was used for political and legal affairs as well as gladiatorial fights during the ancient Roman Republic, is one of the most popular tourist spots in the world.
– Douglas Perry