An original exhibition entitled "The body of crime", has been previewed to the press on Friday 16th December in the Antiquarium of Pompeii. It is a collection of various materials (ceramics, bowls, statues, votive deposits, etc.) from the sixth century to the Roman age, kept for a long time in Pompeii deposits.
The pieces were taken away from Pompeii by professional thieves or tourists. In the first case, the problem is serious: valuables go on the black market of archaeological heritage and it's up to the police to recover them with great difficulty; in the latter case these fragments are often not worth anything and they, however, are given back after many years because they are marked by the so-called “curse of Pompeii”: untold misfortunes raining down on immoral visitors to the excavations.
The Pompeii Superintendence is not insensitive to the issue and so they inaugurated the "The body of crime", an exhibition of amphorae, antefixes, and valuable pieces returned by police and carabinieri. In 2017, the superintendent Massimo Osanna will set up another exhibition with small fragments and letters, now in storage, sent to his office. Senders are tourists hit by the curse of Pompeii; maybe it is not true, but many people believe in it.
The high majority of the occasional rogues returned everything, even after many years away. Even if it is only a little stone. After one bad deed, they have all stumbled into a series of unpleasantness. Sometimes succinct, others prolix, letters are shipped to Pompeii's offices. The Superintendent receives hundreds of them every day from the five continents with stolen goods in the packages. Small objects, in some cases, even rusty nails of modern hardware. As if to say: you do not even know how to pilfer!
It is therefore the sum (of thefts) that makes the total and arouses the curiosity of Antonio Cangiano, a reporter specializing in archeology or better in the atrocities that surround our beloved sites. This time he tracked this strange bad habit bearer of bad luck, to be investigated if possible with a secular journalistic eye. Everything is merged in the book "The Curse of Pompeii". It speaks of the black legend supported by too many tests: if you steal something in Pompeii then comes the punishment. The preface was written by the famous Neapolitan journalist Luigi Necco.
"I’m sending back to you" - is the tone of one of the messages - "something I collected improperly in 1983 and which brought me only misfortune. Now I feel free". The journalist tried to secularize the divine nonsense that over the centuries have given magical powers to ancient monuments. The book talks about the esoteric suspension of a place like Pompeii: multiple testimonies of guardians, guides, reckless visitors and nights crossed with tension, if not fear, in the streets of the city expired by violent death in 79 BC. If individual houses inhabited by people killed inside hide 'ghosts', what about an entire city deceased in unison under the hot ash and stone of Mount Vesuvius? Hence the sworn testimony of people normally skeptical who tell Cangiano about a strange thing that happened on the Street of Abundance…
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Staff at Flashback Journey to Pompeii. Our goal is to bring you up-to-date information on events, continuing archeological excavations and more on Pompeii.