A section of a fresco was stolen last week from the famed archaeological site of Pompeii.
The missing portion depicts the goddess Artemis seated in front of her brother Apollo, and was taken from the House of Neptune, in an area that is part of the Great Pompeii Project, a major project to restore and better preserve Pompeii, with 105 million euros in funds by the European Union.
“I am very saddened by news of the loss of an ancient fresco at Pompeii,” said EU Culture Commissioner Androulla Vassiliou. “Those responsible for such thoughtless vandalism, or as is more likely, outright theft, should be ashamed of themselves. They have robbed all citizens, both Italian and European, of a priceless heritage that belongs to future generations. I hope the police will arrest the guilty and recover the missing piece as soon as possible."
Earlier in the week, a portion of another fresco was also stolen from Pompeii, from an abandoned domus which had never been open to the public. The small fragment was sent back a few days later, from a postal office in Tuscany.