Outrage in Italy after thieves steal part of Pompeii fresco

The Modesto way, where a custodian doing rounds last week discovered that "a part of a fresco in the House of Neptune had been removed" is pictured on March 18, 2014Thieves have stolen part of an ancient fresco from Pompeii, breaking in to a closed area of the UNESCO World Heritage landmark and chipping off a portrait of a Greek deity. A custodian doing rounds last week discovered “the removal of a part of a fresco in the House of Neptune,” where a depiction of the goddess Artemis had been “chiseled off with a metallic object,” the Roman site’s curator department said in a statement Tuesday. The discovery sparked outrage in Italy, with newspaper Il Messaggero describing it as “a shame for the country”, made doubly embarrassing by the recent appointment of a new superintendent for the site. The European Union’s Culture Commissioner Androulla Vassiliou said she was “truly saddened” by the theft, telling ANSA news agency that the robbers “have stolen a priceless patrimony which belongs to all citizens, Italian and European, and future generations”.

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