“I wanted to have a piece of history that couldn’t be bought,” wrote the woman, who said she was “young and dumb” at the time.
Since returning to Canada, she said she had suffered two bouts of breast cancer, which resulted in a double mastectomy, and that her family also had financial problems.
Pompeii is one of the most famous archeological sites in the world.
Salvatore Laporta / KONTROLAB / LightRocket / Getty images
“It seems we can never make progress in life,” she wrote, blaming bad luck on the tiles.
“I took part of the story, captured in time with so much negative energy associated with it,” she wrote. “People died in such a horrible way and I took tiles related to that kind of destruction.”
Nearby, Mount Vesuvius erupted in 79 AD, showering Pompeii with hot rock, volcanic ash and harmful gas and burying its inhabitants.
The woman told how she gave another tile to a friend and told her about the decision to return the artifacts, but she said she did not know if the friend would return hers.
“We are good people and I no longer want to pass this curse on to my family, my children or myself,” she wrote. “Please forgive me for the careless act I did years ago.”
Pompeii is one of the most famous historical sites in the world and archaeologists continue to work on the remains.
The building, one of Pompeii’s most famous sites, was closed to visitors in 1980 after being damaged by an earthquake, but has now reopened as part of the Great Pompeii project, which began in 2014 with in order to preserve the ancient city.