(Updated May 14) On Monday, Sir Paul received a special gift from two Italian sisters in Rome. Francesca De Fazi and her sister Paola handed him his personal diary. The sisters had stolen the volume from the garden of his St. John Woods home while they were on holiday in London in 1980. They were 11 and 12 years old at the time. The pair decided to return the diary to Sir Paul after attending his Sunday evening concert. They went to Sir Paul's hotel (the Hassler Hotel, near the Spanish Steps), showed the diary to the security guards, were ushered into a suite and told to wait. An hour later, Sir Paul himself appeared to scold, then thank the "naughty girls" who had stolen the volume that contained his personal notes, drawings, and appointments from the 1970s and chronicled the events that led up to his decision to leave the Beatles.
According to the sisters:
"When we told the bodyguard, at first he didn't believe us but we showed him some photos from pages of the diary and he took them away to Paul's room. A few minutes later, he came back down and said that Paul would see us in his suite and we were taken up to his room where we gave him back the diary.
"He was very grateful and was smiling and joking with us that it was an important sentimental diary for him. Paul was really friendly and he signed some autographs for us and he even took some of our CD's which we have recorded and said he would listen to them. [The sisters are musicians.]
"We have always been great fans of The Beatles and to meet him in person was fantastic."
The diary has spent the last 23 years in the sisters' Rome apartment. They told the Roman newspapers how they stole the diary:"There was some restructuring work going on, and the gate was open. We mustered up our courage and went inside. We weren't afraid. We weren't scared of anything. In the garden behind the house there was a gazebo with glass doors and in the middle of it there was a table where the diary was. How could we, as 12-year-old-girls, resist that temptation? There were all kinds of things lying around, boxes full of books, records and photographs. But we just took the diary, some music manuscript paper and a black pair of cowboy boots. Then we ran out, where our cousins were acting as look-outs.
"Over the years we did think about having it valued because friends told us it was probably worth millions, but we decided against it. And after Linda died we seriously thought about giving it back. We thought it would be good to give him his diary back.
"To tell the truth, we didn't plan to do this. It just happened. We thought it would be nice to give him his diary back. In any case, without his acknowledgment we couldn't do much with it, so we thought he would be happy to have it back.
"We have always loved the Beatles. Seeing Paul . . . and talking to him was a dream. He told us we had been naughty girls. But then he thanked us for giving it back and signed autographs.
"In any case Sir Paul was very sweet, very modest, not like a star at all. He told us off but then thanked us."
However, the sisters did not return the boots to Sir Paul:
"We wanted to keep something as a souvenir."
Sir Paul told the sisters:"It's wonderful to have it again after all this time.' This is a very important personal memory for me. Thank you for returning it."
Sir Paul claims he holds no ill feeling toward the women for their "little indiscretion". He claims:
"Perhaps they returned it because they really enjoyed the Rome concert," he said.
(kindly submitted by PLUGGED correspondent Joan M. Hopkins)
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