The Independent’s journalism is supported by our readers. When you purchase through links on our site, we may earn commission.

Travel blogger apologises after posing on Pompeii ruins

He later acknowledged that his large online following meant he was accountable for his actions 

The travel blogger sat atop the ruins of the ancient city of Pompeii (Stock)
The travel blogger sat atop the ruins of the ancient city of Pompeii (Stock)

A travel blogger sparked backlash after posting an Instagram photo of himself posing on the ruins of the ancient city of Pompeii.

Nils Travel, who has close to 44,000 followers on Instagram, posted the photo of himself atop a crumbling pillar in the Roman city with the original caption: “A little area that had NO people! Meaning, nobody to yell at me meaning I had to come down from this thing! Exactly what I needed!”

Shortly after, the Dubai-based travel blogger began to face criticism online - because sitting on the ruins of Pompeii is not only disrespectful, but forbidden.

In addition to death threats, the photo provoked fury in Italy - where numerous people reported Nils, who is from Belgium, to authorities.

The photo also prompted Vincenzo Marasco, a local researcher, to write a Facebook post about the issues with the photo.

Marasco wrote alongside Nils’ photo: “The delicacy of our historical heritage must be preserved and defended especially by those who are not aware of its great value.”

According to a Pompeii visitor guide, visitors are expected to be “extremely careful” when moving among the ruins. The guide also reminds guests: “Do not stand on the edge of the digs or climb the walls.”

In response to the international outrage to his photo, Nils decided to keep the photo on his social media but replace his original caption with an apology.

The lengthy acknowledgement of his wrongdoing reads: “I would like to apologise to everyone that I have offended by sitting on this stone column.

“I admit that it was not my smartest decision, and I was not thinking about the historical significance of the place and how it could be perceived by others if I pictured myself in this manner.

“In my photography, I try to always convey the beauty and feeling that I experience myself in a place, so I meant in no way to disrespect the cultural and historical heritage this place signifies.”

Nils then acknowledged that his large social media presence meant he was accountable for his actions.

“However, as someone with a large online following in the tourism niche, I realise I bear a greater responsibility than others to be an example of what and what not to post, or how to behave as a traveller. Now more than ever that is clear to me,” the blogger wrote.

Concluding his post, Nils said that he had learned from the experience, which resulted in “harm and death wishes,” and hopes others can learn from his mistake too.

He wrote: “I am ready to move forward, discuss and engage in a healthy debate with anyone who wishes.”

And, as a “sign of good faith and remorse,” Nils urged his followers to donate to the Pompeii Preservation Project, which conducts research and restoration work at the site.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Please enter a valid email
Please enter a valid email
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Please enter your first name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
Please enter your last name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
You must be over 18 years old to register
You must be over 18 years old to register
Opt-out-policy
You can opt-out at any time by signing in to your account to manage your preferences. Each email has a link to unsubscribe.

By clicking ‘Create my account’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

Comments

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in