It happened exactly fifty years ago: it was June 29, 1964 and she was on honeymoon in Italy. While visiting Pompeii, she decided to take something back to Canada. The woman, an Italian-Canadian living in Montreal, decided to steal a first-century AD terracotta roof decoration: the item was an antefix, a carved vertical slab blocking the covering tiles, from the quadriporticus behind the theatre at the archaeological site.
Now in her 70s, she decided to return the stolen piece by calling the carabinieri's protection of cultural heritage department in Naples. She also contacted the Superintendence for Archaeological Heritage of Pompeii, Herculaneum and Stabiae to report she was going to bring it back to Italy.
After investigations, the woman was identified and she was asked to return the fragment to Pompeii as soon as possible. She eventually did and expressed regret for what she had one and said she could clear her soul from the remorse she had for years. The piece, well preserved, was returned to the Superintendency of Pompeii, which will place it back in its place of origin.The woman wasn't fined: this way, Italian police hope that her action will encourage other who did similar things to return what they have taken from Pompeii.