WARSAW, Poland (JTA) — An Italian tourist tried to smuggle a piece of barbed wire from the Auschwitz-Birkenau museum out of Poland in his suitcase.
The man was detained Sunday by border guards at the airport in Krakow. The tourist said he found the rusty piece of wire, which is nearly 16 inches long, on the ground.
“During interrogation, the man said that he took the wire as a souvenir while visiting the Auschwitz-Birkenau Museum, lifted it from the ground and took it with him,” Katarzyna Walczak, a spokeswoman for the Silesian-Malopolska Border Guard, said in a statement.
The tourist faces a jail term ranging from three months to five years.
In 2009, the “Arbeit macht frei” sign was stolen from above the entrance to the Auschwitz I concentration camp. The three thieves were given sentences ranging from six months to 2 1/2 years.