The woman stole a piece from the Pompeii ruins during her honeymoon in 1964 Wiki Commons

A Canadian woman has given back a Pompeii relic she stole 50 years ago.

The 70-year-old woman from Montreal stole a piece of the Roman city ruins during her honeymoon in the Italian region of Campania, in 1964.

According to Italian newspaper Il Mattino, the Italian-American woman, who has not been named, put the artefact in her bag and took it back with her to Canada and also to Beijing, where she moved a few years later.

The woman said she has always felt guilty about the "souvenir" she had taken and therefore she decided to fly to Italy to give back the relic, part of an ancient theatre construction.

"I regret what I did, I want to remedy," the paper quoted her as saying.

Police, led by Captain Carmine Elefante, took the relic and gave it to local authorities, who will place it where it originally was.

The artefact is in good condition, authorities said.

Last September, two American tourists were caught with a 30kg artefact from Pompeii ruins in one of their suitcases. They were stopped at the Fiumicino airport, Rome, and charged with appropriation of state heritage.

The incident occurred shortly after a Canadian tourist tried to rob a piece of Rome's Colosseum.