Oscar Wildes Tomb protected from Kisses

Seit Ende der Neunziger knutschen die Leute Oscar Wildes Grab, weshalb das Ding jetzt restauriert werden musste und mit einer Barriere aus Glas geschützt wurde. Dass die Leute an Gräbern aber auch immer so viel knutschen müssen, schlimm!

Oscar Wilde died of cerebral meningitis in Paris on November 30, 1900. On the occasion of the 110th anniversary of his death, his tomb in Paris’ famous Père Lachaise Cemetery has been restored and a new glass barrier erected around the monument to stop visitors from making out with it.

The practice began in the late 1990s when a woman kissed Wilde’s tomb leaving a red lipstick print. Because people are easily influenced and deeply unhygienic, that one lip print started an unstoppable trend. The tomb was soon covered in red lips. The threat of a €9,000 ($12,000) fine for damaging a historical monument had no effect, because it’s hard to catch people in the act and because most of the kissers were tourists and thus were long gone before the judicial system could snag them. Appeals from Wilde’s grandson Merlin Holland to stop the practice fell on deaf ears. A plaque asking fans to respect the tomb instead of defacing it had no effect.

Meanwhile, those greasy red lipstick stains seeped into the stone making it harder and harder to clean. Every cleaning stripped another surface layer which made the stone even more porous, so the next cleaning had to go even deeper and wear away the stone even more.

Oscar Wilde’s tomb protected from kisses