Ancient coins stolen from archaeology site returned to Italian museum

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More than 200 ancient coins have been returned to the Paestum museum in Naples after they were stolen from a nearby archaeological site. The coins were returned by a priest, who received the stolen goods from an unnamed man during confession.

Of the 208 coins which were returned, seven were fake but the majority date as far back as the third century BC.

The majority were of ancient Greek origin, with Paestum having deep Greek cultural roots.

A Greek colony was formed in Paestum in the fifth century BC, with many ruins still standing today.

The archaeology site director Gabriel Zuchtriegel said he had been given the coins in an envelope by the priest.

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Mr Zuchtriegel said: “It’s the latest restitution by someone who feels remorseful.”

Late last year, stolen artefacts were returned to Pompeii after the thief claimed the items brought curses upon her family.

A travel agency in Italy received a mysterious package from a Canadian woman, who only identified herself as Nicole, which contained two mosaic pieces, two parts of an amphora and a piece of ceramic.

According to a note left by the woman, she stole the items 15 years ago while on a trip to the site.

The note said that the woman, 36, believed the items were “cursed” and that they brought bad luck on her and her family.

According to reports, since returning to her native Canada, the woman has suffered two bouts of breast cancer, resulting in a double mastectomy, while her family has undergone financial ruin.

The note said: “I wanted to have a piece of history that couldn’t be bought.

“We can’t ever seem to get ahead in life. I took a piece of history captured in a time with so much negative energy attached to it.

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“People died in such a horrible way and I took tiles related to that kind of destruction.

“I am now 36 and had breast cancer twice. The last time ending in a double mastectomy.

“We are good people and I don’t want to pass this curse on to my family, my children or myself anymore.

“Please forgive my careless act that I did years ago.”

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