An unexpected outcome? Not for some.
Last November, Oscar Wilde’s grave was thoroughly renovated and all the lipstick and graffiti was removed. The renovation included installing a glass wall around the grave for conservation purposes as the plaque on Wilde’s grave has not been successful in dissuading visitors from defacing it. The plaque reads:
Respect the memory of Oscar Wilde and do not deface this tomb. It is protected by law as an historic monument and was restored in 1992.
A ceremony was organized to mark the event on November 30, the anniversary of Wilde’s death. Merlin Holland, Oscar Wilde’s grandson, was present and commented at the time that “some determined kissers will no doubt try to find ways of kissing the upper extremities.”
Yesterday, I learned that this scenario came true last August. Indeed, less than one year after the renovation and installation of the glass barrier, someone mounted the neighboring grave (Famille Papeil) and broke the cross while trying to access Wilde’s grave. Consequently, cemetery officials have erected a fence around the area. And, by the way, the tree was chopped down too. If that tree could talk…
- State accused of Wilde ‘vandalism’ Don Lavery, http://www.independent.ie
- Walling Off Oscar Wilde’s Tomb From Admirers’ Kisses (New York Times)
- Oscar’s Tomb (A Case of Misguided Conservation) Lisa Marie McIntyre, architectural historian
- Round and round we go… New signs added to fence surrounding Jim’s grave