Jim, tied with fences
This weekend was Nature Festival throughout France. On Sunday, I decided to take advantage of one of the several walking tours offered by the city to learn more about the biodiversity in Père Lachaise. I hadn’t been there for a couple of weeks, so I was happy to be back and see the cemetery from a new perspective. As usual, before leaving, I went by Jim’s grave to see what was going on and to take some pictures.
I discovered, to my consternation, that the perimeter around Jim’s grave has just been expanded on the left side (if you’re facing the grave), thus distancing visitors even further from the grave.
Graffiti has always been omnipresent at Jim’s grave. To combat this activity, cemetery officials petitioned off his grave with a ghastly metal barrier in 2004. And now the situation just got worse.
There’s the rub
I sympathize with cemetery officials who undoubtedly struggle with the conundrum. I think we can all agree the barrier is counterproductive. What to do? Enclose Jim’s grave in glass like Oscar Wilde’s?
I fully understand people’s desire to leave a mark of passage or messages for Jim. If only it were possible to somehow encourage visitors to leave tribues instead of defacing neighboring gravestones. I’ve seen such lovely and thoughtful items left on Jim’s grave. It’s a terrible shame that visitors don’t make this choice more often.