"After leaving Jane (and promising myself one day to return) we walked towards the final resting place of Oscar Wilde. To be honest I was saddened by all the graffiti which marks the fine sculpture of Jacob Epstein. It was my fourth trip to Oscar and it seems to be getting inevitably worse year by year. Is it really the way to pay tribute to the great man? I think not, and I also think it disrespects the work of Mr Epstein. Just leave a written note, please!"
I'm not suggesting I had anything to do with it but it seems that it didn't fall on deaf ears as the following article from the Calgary Herald dated 3rd December 2011 reveals:
Oscar Wilde's renovated Paris tomb was unveiled this week, complete with a new glass barrier to shield the monument to the quintessential dandy's life from a torrent of admiring kisses.
Kiss upon lipsticked kiss in honour of Wilde, who died penniless aged 46 in a Paris hotel room in 1900, had worn down the elegant tomb in Pere Lachaise cemetery, as grease from tourist lips sank into the stonework.
Wilde's only grandson Merlin Holland and British actor Rupert Everett accompanied French and Irish officials at the ceremony, held under bright winter sunshine on the tree-lined alleys of the famous burial ground.
The tomb, designed by modernist sculptor Jacob Epstein with a flying Assyrian-style angel, survived almost unscathed until 1985, except for the angel's notoriously prominent genitals being hacked off.
Then, the expense of cleaning operations to deal with increasing graffiti on the tomb led the descendants of Wilde and of his friend and executor Robert Ross to try, successfully, to get it listed as a historic monument.
The hope was that fines of thousands of euros for defacing the tomb would deter fans of the author of The Importance of Being Earnest.
But in 1999 the graffiti was replaced by a much more worrying phenomenon when someone had the idea of planting a large, lipsticked kiss on the tomb, sparking a craze for Wilde's many admirers visiting Paris.
The glass should now shield the tomb, with wellwishers already having planted rosy red kisses on a nearby tree.
Holland, whose grandmother changed the family name to avoid public scorn after Oscar was jailed by a London court for the Victorian "crime" of homosexuality, said he would have loved all the fuss.
"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," Holland said. "If my grandfather had been here he would have loved the attention. The attention has always been given over the last 30 years with notes and then lipstick, but now art has to triumph over what the French call 'degradation.' "
Everett, who came out as gay in the 1980s and starred in the 2002 film version of The Importance of Being Earnest, described the dandy Irishman as his "patron saint" and "one of the last great vagabonds" of the 19th century.
Can't wait to see it next time i'm in Paris! - CASE CLOSED!