Oscar Wilde’s Paris tomb has been restored, with an unveiling on Wednesday that saw Wilde’s only grandson Merlin Holland and British actor Rupert Everett in attendance.
RTE News reports that the restoration came complete with a new glass barrier to shield the monument from admiring kisses after grease from tourist lips sank into the stonework and wore down the tomb in Pere Lachaise cemetery.
The Dublin-born playwright died at 46 in a Paris hotel room in 1900 and the unveiling coincide with the 111th anniversary of his death.
“The royalties on Oscar Wilde’s works disappeared many many years ago, and there’s no way I could possibly have raised the money to do this myself,” said Holland.
“If my grandfather had been here he would have loved the attention.”
Everett, who starred in the 2002 film version of The Importance of Being Earnest, said Wilde was his “patron saint” and “one of the last great vagabonds” of the 19th century.
“I find him very inspiring and touching, not just for his genius, also for his stupidity, in a way. He was a human being, and made mistakes like everyone else,” he said.