Admirers who have smothered Oscar Wilde’s grave with kisses will no longer be able to get so close to the stone memorial as lipstick marks are eroding it.
For years fans – especially women – have visited the huge memorial in Paris’s largest cemetery Pére Lachaise to pay homage to the Irish dramatist.
But expressions of love for the unconventional playwright have often spilled over into thousands of red lipstick kisses and graffiti messages which have covered the bottom half of the tomb.
The public will no longer be able to get so close as a glass barrier has now been constructed, the Observer said.
It will re-open on Wednesday on the anniversary of Wilde’s death.
Wilde’s grandson Merlin Holland had repeatedly appealed to the public to leave the grave alone, but to no avail.
He said there was a £7,700 fine for anyone caught defacing the tomb but recognised culprits were largely tourists who left the country before police were able to track them down.
He said grease in lipstick absorbs into the stone and every time it is cleaned more stone is eroded.
He told the newspaper: ‘From a technical point of view, the tomb is close to being irreparably damaged.
by Elizabeth, A + E