Oscar Wilde's graffitied tomb gets a makeover
British actor Rupert Everett delivers a speech as he attends the unveiling of Oscar Wilde's newly renovated tombstone which coincides with the 111th anniversary of his death, at the Pere Lachaise cemetery, in Paris, Wednesday, Nov. 30, 2011.
The Associated Press
Published Wednesday, November 30, 2011 1:47PM EST
PARIS - Actor Rupert Everett and Oscar Wilde's grandson have unveiled a makeover of the writer's gravesite on the 111th anniversary of his death.
Everett, who is writing about the poet's life, spoke at a podium Wednesday bearing a poster of the pre-renovation tomb covered in notes and lipstick at Paris' famed Pere Lachaise cemetery.
The tomb had become such a well-loved pilgrimage site -- and had been so well-kissed -- that it needed renovation. A glass screen now separates visitors from the stone itself.
Everett hailed Wilde's "force" and the "amazing trajectory of his life."
Grandson Merlin Holland said his grandfather "would be incredibly touched by all the attention. After all he was sent out of England in 1897 a bankrupt, a homosexual and a convict ... and the French took him to their hearts."