A bronze stud from the late fourth century or early fifth century B.C., part of a temporary exhibition at the Pompeii archaeological park in southern Italy, has been stolen. It was one of four surviving studs from a gate which were recovered in Torre Satriano, another archaeological site. All four were on display in the "Pompeii and the Greeks" exhibition, running until Oct. 31.

The missing stud, whose disappearance was noted late Wednesday, was insured for 300 euros ($335), the Pompeii archaeological park said in a statement. Pompeii director Massimo Osanna said:

"Even if it was not a priceless piece, [the theft] is an affront to the Pompeii site and to Italian cultural heritage, and it personally affects me since it comes from an area whose excavation I had personally led."

The room where the theft took place is monitored by custodians during the day and by security cameras at night. Police were called in to investigate, and the exhibition was closed to the public to ease their work. The rest of Pompeii remains open. Osanna said Thursday that the stud's removal from beneath an acrylic panel would have taken time to avoid detection by on-site security. Officials think it was taken during public visiting hours, and police are reviewing video surveillance. The area has been closed to visitors.

The site, long associated with neglect and building collapses, is Italy's most popular tourist site after the Colosseum and the Roman Forum, and is undergoing extensive restorations funded by the European Union.

Pompeii was a prosperous ancient Roman city destroyed by a 79 A.D. eruption of Mount Vesuvius, which killed thousands of people. Ruins have survived to this day after being covered for centuries by thick layers of volcanic ash.

It's not exactly Greek, this news, but I am putting it up here because this pisses me off to no end. How dare you go into a museum--or anywhere!--and take something that doesn't belong to you. Something that should be available to all to see. that's history. It belongs to everyone. May Nemesis take swift and just action!