Oscar Wilde’s tomb in Paris

miscellaneous

Oscar Wilde‘s tomb is located in Père Lachaise Cemetery, Paris, France. It took nine to ten months to complete by the sculptor Jacob Epstein, with an accompanying plinth by Charles Holden and an inscription carved by Joseph Cribb.

Oscar Wilde was initially buried in the Cimetière de Bagneux outside Paris; in 1909 his remains were disinterred and transferred to Père Lachaise Cemetery, inside the city. His tomb was designed by Sir Jacob Epstein, commissioned by Robert Ross, who asked for a small compartment to be made for his own ashes which were duly transferred in 1950. The modernist angel depicted as a relief on the tomb was originally complete with male genitalia which have since been vandalised; their current whereabouts are unknown. In 2000, Leon Johnson, a multimedia artist, installed a silver prosthesis to replace them.

800px-Tomb_of_Oscar_Wilde,_Père_Lachaise_cemetery,_Paris,_France

In 2011, the tomb was cleaned of the many lipstick marks left there by admirers, and a glass barrier was installed to prevent further marks or damage.

The epitaph is a verse from The Ballad of Reading Gaol:

And alien tears will fill for him

Pity’s long-broken urn,
For his mourners will be outcast men,

And outcasts always mourn.

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