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A vestige of Pompeii has adorned the wall of a Belgian house for 50 years

A great find.

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A vestige of Pompeii has adorned the wall of a Belgian house for 50 years

A great find. In Belgium, a family discovered that a piece of marble embedded in one of the walls of their house came from the prestigious archaeological site of Pompeii, reports France Info. It all started when the owners of the house, wanting to move, had this marble slab which was integrated into the wall of their staircase valued. They send photos by email to the Gallo-Roman museum in Tongeren. “Quite quickly it was clear to us that it was an object from Pompeii, stolen in the 1970s,” says Bart de Marsin, the institution’s archaeologist responsible for the estimate.

The piece of marble illustrates an earthquake, probably that which occurred in 62 AD, and corresponds "to a similar piece, which also represents buildings which collapsed during this earthquake", according to the details provided by the archaeologist to VRTnws. The small frieze, in two pieces, decorated a rich Roman house and was exhibited on the site of Pompeii. When in the 1970s, the Belgian tourist finished his visit to the place, he acquired one of the two remains from a street vendor.

According to France Info, the object, declared stolen, should find its rightful place in Pompeii. But its current owner, who believes that the piece of marble embedded in its wall has enabled its good conservation, has taken legal action to obtain compensation.

If the Belgian tourist pleads good faith, other tourists have fewer scruples. The Italian press regularly reports on thefts on the part of indelicate people who do not hesitate to grant themselves a little souvenir during a visit. In 2019, La Repubblica reported that a British visitor began peeling off part of the mosaic that decorated the floor of a Pompeian domus. In 2020, a Canadian tourist returned, 15 years after the events, the artifacts she had stolen from the site of the ancient city, a few ceramic tiles and a piece of amphora. A theft which, according to her, brought her “nothing but misfortune”…

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