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Headstone Rubbings?

Fort Worth, TX
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268 posts
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Headstone Rubbings?

Okay, my husband asked me to post this question, so here goes.

Is it legal and/or common to take a rubbing (as in transfering it onto paper) off of Jim Morrison's headstone at the cemetery?

the big blue marble
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1. Re: Headstone Rubbings?

I honestly do not know, but the graveside is staffed at all times, so you can count on have a swift reply upon arrival. I am guessing that it is all going to depend on who and how you ask......

Newcastle
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2. Re: Headstone Rubbings?

The original head stone was stolen and so was the second one.... I don't know if they put up a third one. The grave is guarded all the time so if it has been replaced and you want to do a rubbing I am sure they will let you know right away if it is ok!

Newcastle
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3. Re: Headstone Rubbings?

Here are some older photos of the head stone right up to the present. You can see what it used to look like and what it looks like now.

http://www.planetneil.com/paris/jim.html

http://home.flash.net/~motodata/scanthis/morrisonland/_jim_n_i.html

http://home.flash.net/~motodata/scanthis/morrisonland/_jim.html

http://home.flash.net/~motodata/scanthis/morrisonland/_jimclose.html

http://www.alamy.com/stock_photography/1/2/Andrew+Morse/AXDH77.html

Fort Worth, TX
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268 posts
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4. Re: Headstone Rubbings?

Thank you all. He has ordered his "rubbing" kit to carry along in hopes of. We'll see!

Denmark, Europe
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5. Re: Headstone Rubbings?

why is it that I find this just a little bit disrespectful to the dead ?

Denmark, Europe
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6. Re: Headstone Rubbings?

OK, let me unscrew the cork and let it out. Am I right to presume that this is about getting a "copy" of the inscription on the gravestone ?

To me this is downright gravedesecration.

Would you do it if some of the dead person's relatives were present, e.g. to lay flowers on the grave ? And how do you know if some of the persons around the grave do not actually mourn for the dead person ? I would be so furious if I were to witness such activity in a cemetary. And to every French person present (plus me) it would confirm the notion of the rude, ugly American. Please tell you husband to forget about this. Why can't he take a discreet photo ?

Sydney, Australia
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7. Re: Headstone Rubbings?

Hi Gitte

When I visited the grave in 1990, there were people sitting all around it and on it, playing his music and drinking and smoking some substance. What I found really unpleasant were all the empty bottles and rubbish that had been dumped on surrounding graves, as if they were rubbish receptacles for the people who came to "visit" him. That sort of thing and the stolen gravestones that Discover mentioned, and the desecration of the earlier gravestone with felt pen comments that are shown in Discover's links, are presumably the reason for the guards being placed there now.

Compared to that sort of behaviour, I suspect Jim Morrison's family would probably be touched to see someone carefully copying the inscription on his gravestone with a piece of chalk rubbed gently over a piece of paper for sentimental reasons. I am not interested in gravestone rubbing but it is a common practice, and I am sure even some French people do it, particularly with older graves. However, a lot of very old cemetaries forbid it, not due to respect issues as most people who bother to do this do feel great respect for the person whose gravestone they want to preserve on paper, but due to the fragility of the stone.

BTW jkshel, I am prepared to bet that it is not permitted, given the time it would take, the number of people who want to visit the grave and the presence of the guards. They might be concerned that you would damage or deface the grave. However, no harm in asking permission especially if you learn the correct French for asking if "gravestone rubbing" is permitted.

Fort Worth, TX
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8. Re: Headstone Rubbings?

You're right, Faux. It is very common, especially at military cemeteries around the world and the Vietnam Memorial in Washington D.C. They'll actually do it for you and mail it to you if you request it. It's done completely out of respect. My husband has been a lifelong fan of Jim Morrison and the Doors. That will be a nice memento if they allow it.

the big blue marble
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9. Re: Headstone Rubbings?

Gitte - Headstone rubbing are a long standing tradition in Great Britain. You used to be able to do it in Westminster Abey and St Pauls as well as any of the other churches. They have had to stop that because of the multitude of tourists these days, but you can still do the rubbings at St Martins in the Fields.

Every culutre has its own traditions around death and they dying. What may strike one as desecration is the sign of utmost respect to the other. Check it out: www.ancestryprinting.com/headstone.html

Denmark, Europe
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10. Re: Headstone Rubbings?

OK - I now understand that it is commonly accepted.

I will not call the police then, but I am still at liberty to give such people an outraged, disapproving look.