1 Dec 2011

Restored Wilde tomb unveiled

3:41 pm on 1 December 2011

The newly restored tomb of Irish playwright Oscar Wilde has been unveiled at Paris' famous Pere Lachaise cemetery.

The Irish government funded the restoration of the tomb, which had been eroded over the years by scores of fans kissing it.

Wilde's grandson, Merlin Holland, who attended the ceremony, says the culprit in damaging the tomb was lipstick and the refurbished tomb has a kiss-proof glass barrier

"which is gently warding off and saying please rather than saying in a loud voice, keep out!"

The ABC reports the trend for kissing Wilde's tomb appears to have begun in 1999 when someone planted a large, lipsticked kiss on the tomb.

It sparking a craze among the playwright's many admirers visiting the French capital.

The tomb was designed by modernist sculptor Jacob Epstein.