Italian Carabinieri police detained a 20-year-old British tourist after she was caught removing the tiles of a mosaic at a house in Pompeii.
The Carabinieri stepped in after being alerted by the archeological site’s guards who saw the woman removing a dozen pieces, called tesserae, from the mosaic floor of the House of the Anchor. According to local media, the woman, who was with her father and sister at the time, climbed over the guard rail placed to protect the area, removed the tiles of the precious mosaic, put three in her backpack and fled.
But she was seen by the custodians who immediately called the Carabinieri who were able to stop her before she managed to get out of the site. Charges were filed for aggravated damage.
On Monday April 8, restorers of the Archaeological Park of Pompeii began work to replace the tiles. The restoration will cost about 3,000 euros.
The House of the Anchor, located on via di Mercurio, is named after the anchor depicted on the mosaic at the entrance, a symbol of peace and safety represented by the home for its dwellers. The building is set on two levels, with the upper level centered around a large terrace with three reception rooms, and the lower level occupied by a garden, enclosed by a covered portico with pillars.
This isn't the first time that tourists behave disrespectfully at Pompeii; last year police arrested two French tourists when they were caught stealing pieces of marble and earthenware.