The Minister of State for Public Service Reform Brian Heyes was in the French capital to confirm Irish funding for the restoration of the grave of Oscar Wilde.
The memorial, a sculpture of a modernist angel designed by Sir Jacob Epstein, is covered with graffiti and, in common with our banks, the angel’s fundamentals are gone. The whole thing is covered in red lipstick, and the oil from the lipstick has soaked into the stone.The restoration project involves cleaning the grave, fixing the angel and surrounding it all with glass joined by four bronze pillars.
The Government was approached about the restoration by the Irish Cultural Centre in Paris and Merlin Holland, Wilde’s grandson.
“It has been dream to have it cleaned, restored and respected,” said Sheila Pratschke, the director of the centre. “I think it will look magnificent when it’s cleaned.”
The work should be completed by November.
“His grave is an enormous attraction for people, and it makes the connection between Ireland and France. So it’s only right and proper that the Government would provide this small amount of money to clean it up and then provide a more permanent structure around the grave which can allow fans and tourists to see it,” said the Minister.
Can't wait to see it!!