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The memorial of the famous 19th century Irish writer and poet, Oscar Wilde, lies in a cemetery in Paris. Chiseled out of a 20-tonne block of stone, the tomb features a winged figure resembling the Sphinx on a forward flight with vertically outstretched wings, and is supposed to be based on Wilde's poem The Sphinx and inspired by the British Museum's Assyrian figures. For years, female fans have visited the huge memorial in Paris's largest cemetery Pére Lachaise to pay homage to the Irish playwright and left their mark in red lipstick. Over thousands of lipstick kisses and graffiti messages cover the bottom half of the tomb.

The practice started in the late 1990s, when somebody decided to leave a lipstick kiss on the tomb. Since then lipstick kisses and hearts have been joined by a rash of red graffiti containing expressions of love, such as: "Wilde child we remember you", "Keep looking at the stars" and "Real beauty ends where intellect begins". Kissing Oscar's tomb on the Paris tourist circuit has become a cult pastime.

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© Amusing Planet, 2014.


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