Rupert Everett Remembers Oscar Wilde's Genius As Tomb Is Made 'Kiss-Proof' (PICTURES)

The Huffington Post UK     First Posted: 01/12/11 12:58   Updated: 01/12/11 13:41

Rupert Everett has attended the unveiling of Oscar Wilde's restored tomb in Paris, which has a new glass barrier to make it "kiss-proof".

Everett, who appeared in the big screen version of Wilde's The Importance of Being Earnest and has recently written his own screenplay about Wilde, said the tomb was "being eaten away by lipstick" after hordes of female fans felt moved to kiss the tomb of the troubled playwright.

The tomb, designed by Modernist sculptor Jacob Epstein, has been refurbished with money provided by the Irish government.

Everett told yesterday's BBC Radio 4 Today programme: "The Irish government have taken it upon themselves to renovate the Epstein gravestone, which is literally being eaten away by lipstick, endless women kissing it."

Tourists are now leaving their lipstick marks on a neighbouring tree instead.

Everett said of Wilde, who was convicted of gross indecency in 1895 after his love affair with Lord Alfred Douglas, "I find him very inspiring and touching, not just for his genius, also for his stupidity, in a way.

"He was a human being, and made mistakes like everyone else."

Wild's grandson Merlin Holland also attended the unveiling, and voiced his gratitude to the Irish government for restoring the tomb.

"If my grandfather had been here he would have loved the attention," the BBC reported Mr Holland reflecting.

See pictures of Rupert Everett at the newly 'kiss-proof' tomb in our Slideshow below...

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28th May 1889: Irish playwright, novelist, essayist, poet and wit Oscar Wilde (1854 - 1900)
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