What’s the most embarrassing thing you’ve done on holiday? Chances are you won’t want to remember it. For one bold American tourist, what seemed like a good idea at the time obviously turned into a stark reminder of less favourable behaviour when they took the opportunity to try and repair their misdeeds.
After being missing for nearly three years, Roman authorities had considered the piece of marble well and truly gone so were quite surprised when it turned up again in the post one day.
Staff at the National Rome Museum were in for a shock when they received a large and mysterious parcel from overseas. Upon opening the bulkily wrapped parcel they found a piece of Roman marble inscribed with the words ‘To Sam, love Jess, Rome 2017’, and an accompanying letter of apology that described the woman’s guilt from taking the ancient relic.
The woman named Jess, who described herself as “an American asshole”, felt moved to return the piece after taking it from the historical city of Rome back in 2017 whilst on holiday. The relic, which had been meant as a keepsake and token of affection for the aforementioned ‘Sam’, had since come to be a burden in her life.
The letter, which cultural staff at the museum described as “moving”, asks for forgiveness and describes how the theft had been a naive mistake from her younger years: “It was a big mistake on my part and only now, as an adult, do I realise just how thoughtless and despicable it was.”
Jess’ guilt seems to be compounded by the writing she had added to the marble. The black marker writing seems now to be a permanent addition to the artifact as despite many hours of “scrubbing and cleaning”, the message remains intact.
The museum hopes the media attention surrounding the story will act a deterrent for future thefts.