Born on December 8, 1943, Jim Morrison died in Paris on July 3, 1971 at the age of 27. Jim was buried in Division 6 in Père Lachaise cemetery on July 7. In attendance at the burial were Jim’s girlfriend Pamela Courson, Doors manager Bill Siddons, Jim’s friends, Agnès Varda and Alain Ronay, and Jim’s secretary, Robin Wertle.
Fan tributes marked Jim’s grave for the first couple of years until a concrete grave curb was installed. It wasn’t until 1981 that Jim got a proper headstone on the 10th anniversary of his death. The headstone and bust were benevolently crafted and installed by the Croatian artist, Mladen Mikulin. The bust was stolen in March 1988.
In December 1990, the entire grave was renovated with a new grave curb and headstone. Mikulin’s headstone was destroyed.
The inscriptions on the headstones are Jim Morrison 1943–1971 and James Douglas Morrison, 1943–1971, Kata Ton Δaimona Eaytoy respectively.
As you can see in the photos, the grave, bust and the neighbouring graves were seriously defaced over time. One of the facing mausoleums was even dismantled. The graffiti was removed several times but kept coming back. In 2004, to combat the desecration, cemetery officials put up metal barricades around the site which drastically changed the vibe at Jim’s grave. For better or worse, I’ll let you decide.
The current trend is to attach love locks, friendship bracelets and stickers on the barricade.
See also Last Photos of Jim Morrison →
Père Lachaise cemetery, Division 6, 16 rue du Repos, Paris 20
The 70sEmbed from Getty Images
1975 © Keystone / Employé / Hulton Archive
In the spring of 1981 Mikulin completed an extraordinary portrait sculpture, which was then–overcoming international administrative problems—successfully placed on the fore-mentioned grave together with the base stone on which Jim’s name was carved along with the year of birth and death. This was on 4th June 1981, just a month before the the 10th anniversary of Morrison’s passing away in Paris.From the Mladen Mikulin, The Portraitist of Jim Morrison.
See also The Real Story of Jim Morrison’s Bust →
July 3, 1981 — For the 10th anniversary of Jim Morrison’s death, Doors’ members Ray Manzarek and John Densmore in Père Lachaise pay tribute (3m15s).Embed from Getty Images Embed from Getty Images
Graffiti around Jim Morrison’s grave at Père Lachaise cemetery in 1987. © Greg Warden/Flickr
The bust was stolen in March 1988.
See also Who Stole Jim Morrison’s Bust? →
“Anticipating a post-Doors movie tourist boom after its release in March, work has begun on overhauling Jim Morrison’s plot in the Père Lachaise cemetery, Paris. For a long time, Old Leather Keks’ final resting place has provided a makeshift off-licence, graffiti canvas and lavatory for visiting Lizard types, but now the unsavory debris has been cleared and a handsome new headstone has been erected. Jim would, no doubt, turn in his grave, if he’s there.”December 1990 / Photo © Robert Norman
“Around 10 a.m in March 1991, accompanied by the cemetery Director and their legal representative, the Morrison’s spent a few minutes in front of the grave looking at the new gravestone that they had put in place the previous December. Mrs. Morrison cried and Mr. Morrison removed his hat in a respectful gesture. I had been told they would be there and I felt I should come and bear witness.”Michelle Campbell
July 3, 1991
A riot broke out on the 20th anniversary of Jim Morrison’s death.
In 1991, the 20th anniversary turned unruly and prompted police to disperse fans with tear gas. Five years ago, police closed the cemetery early to the disappointment of hundreds of attendees.AP Archive
July 3, 2001
On the 30th anniversary of Jim Morrison’s death, Doors’ keyboardist Ray Manzarek pays tribute to Jim Morrison in Père Lachaise cemetery.
“Guarding Jim Morrison’s grave is normally a job for one security guard but today, on the 30th anniversary of his death, it’s job for the Paris police as hundreds of mourning Morrison fans gathered to pay their respects to their Doors hero.”AP Archive
On the 40th anniversary of Jim Morrison’s death, Doors’ keyboardist Ray Manzarek and Doors’ guitarist Robby Krieger pay tribute at Jim Morrison’s grave.