“Forgive me father…” thief returns ancient coins at confession

There are two types of confession in Europe: the criminal and the Catholic. They’re usually completely unconnected, but last week, a remorseful thief told a priest of the weight of his actions not just on his immortal soul but on his conscience in this world, too.

Not only did the light-fingered character tell his padre about his crime – he asked him to return the stolen goods to their rightful owners.

Perhaps the thief’s remorse didn’t quite stretch to confessing to the police.

These 200 or so coins date back at least 2,000 years and were discovered at the Paestum site, near Naples. It’s thought they date back to the period the area was ruled by Greeks, before Romans later took control.

It’s unclear how the thief got his hands on the prized artefacts, or indeed why they returned them.

One theory is the clearly religious person was spooked by word of a “curse” on such treasure. The archeologist in charge of the site said it was not the first he’d heard of such a return.

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