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Why this photo is causing a social media storm

Newshub logoNewshub 11/06/2018 Newshub staff

a man standing in front of a brick building © Provided by MediaWorks NZ Limited A Belgian travel blogger has received death threats among other abuse after posting an image of himself posing among ancient Roman ruins.

Self-described "full-time globetrotter" Nils Travel was forced to apologise for the image, which featured him modelling on top of a pillar in Pompeii's Basilica.

Many took him to task for perceived disrespect of an ancient archaeological site.

"What a freaking idiot, you are a smuckster, your arrogance as a modern foreigner shows how little respect you have for a sacred Roman relics area of the dead," one commenter wrote.

"The original blogger needs to understand that these ruins are over 2000 years old and so are very fragile. Just by sitting on the structures, you are damaging it and if anything is destroyed then it's lost forever," another said.

Rather than take the post down, Nils Travel has kept it up "so it can be a lesson to others".

"I sincerely apologise to everyone who is offended by this photo," his edited post reads.

"I love travelling from the bottom of my heart, it is what drives me and feeds my soul, and to read the often nationalistic and xenophobic harm and death wishers I have received over the past 24 hours hurts me to the core."

Some followers found his apology sincere, while others lashed out. 

Nils Travel has since started a PledgeMe page for people to donate to the heritage site "as a sign of good faith".

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