A British student accused of cutting 20 tiles from a Roman mosaic in Pompeii to take as souvenirs has vowed to clear her name.
Caprice Arnold, from Turnbridge Wells, Kent, was celebrating her birthday in Italy with family when she was arrested after climbing over a rail around the 2,000-year-old artefact.
But the 21-year-old claims she only bent down to ‘inspect loose tiles’ when she was seized by a caretaker.
Caprice Arnold (pictured), from Turnbridge Wells, Kent, was arrested after climbing over a rail around the 2,000-year-old mosaic
Miss Arnold denies allegations that she chiselled off the tiles and put them in her bag.
The student claims she was not searched by Italian Police or offered a translator at the Casa dell’ancora villa.
Miss Arnold is now back home and desperate to clear her name and tell her side of the story.
She told The Sun: ‘I was so scared. I have done nothing wrong.
The student claims she was not searched by Italian Police or offered a translator at the Casa dell’ancora villa (pictured)
‘We tried to be as helpful as possible, just thinking they would realise it was all a big misunderstanding.
‘They have since said I had tiles and some kind of tool in my bag but that is 100 per cent not true, they did not even search me.’
Miss Caprice, who said the incident ruined the family holiday, was told she would receive a letter from Italian police which has yet to arrive.
Father Joey Arnold believes police in the country want to make an example over his daughter over fears tourists are ruining Pompeii.
A geometrical mosaic in the ancient Roman city of Pompeii. Miss Arnold denies allegations that she chiselled off the tiles and put them in her bag (stock image)
A prosecution source said the case was ‘highly likely to go to court’, according to The Sun.
If found guilty, Miss Arnold could face a fine or even a prison sentence after a site manager estimated the damage at £2,600.
It is not the first time Italian police has taken action on tourists vandalising the historic city.
A French tourist was arrested last year after trying to take a ‘backpack full of artefacts’ from Pompeii. He was given a suspended prison sentence and fined.
In 2016, it was reported that an American cut away marble from the House of the Small Fountain.
However in 2014, a Canadian tourist returned an item she had stolen from Pompeii’s amphitheater during her honeymoon – 50 years earlier.