In the latest act of dumb tourist moves, a teenage boy from the Netherlands was caught stealing a priceless artifact from the ancient city of Pompeii.
According to Italian news site Il Mattino, translated via The Local, an American tourist witnessed the 16-year-old placing a Roman roof tile in his backpack and attempting to smuggle it out of the site currently under renovations.
Police on the scene stopped the teenager before he was able to leave with the item. He reportedly later said he wanted to sell the tile on eBay to buy the latest iPhone. But experts say he would have been disappointed by the resale value.
“A simple terracotta tile actually has a very low value, we don't even trade them,” Roman artifacts dealer Carole Elena told The Local.
“Being a tile from Pompeii, its provenance might have given it some extra value, but I'd say it's worth a maximum of €400 [about $443]... but obviously items like this are priceless in terms of their historical value.”
Though the tile was given back to Pompeii staff, neither the teenager or the American tourist who caught him trying to take the item could remember the original location of the piece so it may take some time before it’s properly restored.