Oscar Wilde Tomb Protected – Oscar Wilde never thought his tomb would be left with countless kisses from numerous women. Fortunately, the cemetery is now protected by a glass barrier to keep him at peace from the opposite sex. The Irish writer and poet would probably complain of such a nuisance, if alive today.
Since the ’90s, women started leaving lipstick kisses on his tomb in Paris’ Pere Lachaise cemetery, a gentle memento for a writer who didn’t show much regard for women.
The problem was that cleaning off those kisses was damaging the unprotected stone. The Guardian reports:
Merlin Holland, Wilde’s grandson, said the lipstick had become a “serious problem” because the grease sinks into the stone. “Every cleaning was causing a bit more stone to wear away,” he said.
“No amount of appeals to the public did any good at all. Kissing Oscar’s tomb on the Paris tourist circuit has become a cult pastime, which is proving impossible to break. Even if one could catch someone inflagrante delicto, there is a â‚¬9,000 fine, most perpetrators are probably tourists, so they would be home before the French authorities could bring them to court,” Wilde said.
“From a technical point of view, the tomb is close to being irreparably damaged. Each cleaning has rendered the stone more porous necessitating a yet more drastic cleaning,” he added
Paris and Dublin got together and decided to perserve the memorial and when it opens this week, it will be clear of kisses and also sport a glass barrier, “which will surround it to prevent the kissers from causing further damage.”