A repentant American tourist has returned a block of ancient marble stolen during a trip to Rome. The fragment was delivered to Italy’s National Roman Museum, with “To Sam, love Jess, Rome 2017” inscribed on it.
In an accompanying note, the pilfering traveler begged forgiveness for having been “inconsiderate and disrespectful.”
The thief said, “I feel terribly for not only taking this item from its rightful place, but also placing writing on it as well.”
The person, who officials are assuming is a woman called Jess, said they tried unsuccessfully to remove the marker-pen writing on the stone with “many hours of scrubbing and cleaning.”
The museum’s director said the stone had little value, and was likely stolen from a site like the Roman Forum, once the center of ancient Rome and now home to the ruins of several important buildings. He speculated the decision to ask for forgiveness may have been spurred by hardships endured in 2020.