The door of the cell which held Oscar Wilde after being sentenced for “gross indecency” has returned to public display at the National Justice Museum.
The Irish poet and author was imprisoned after his romantic relationship with another man was revealed. Wilde was sentenced to two year’s imprisonment in May 1895, and died in 1900 following the deterioration of his health in prison.
The door had been on display as part of the museum’s crime and punishment collection for 18 years. The Nottingham museum said its staff had noticed couples pausing by the door to take selfies, and so created a large replica of the symbolic object to take to events such as Nottingham Pride.
The door was last loaned to Queer Britain in London for its inaugural exhibition ‘We Are Queer Britain!’ in 2022.
The National Justice Museum said it was “delighted to be approached by Queen Britain to share this iconic object as part of the London museum’s first exhibition of LGBTQ+ history, but equally thrilled to have it back at the National Justice Museum.”
The National Justice Museum is based in Nottingham’s former Shire Hall and County Gaol. It first opened on the site in April 1995 as the Galleries of Justice, and in 2017 rebranded as the National Justice Museum.