Bard's 'cursed' tomb is revamped

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William Shakespeare's tombstone is set for a makeover - despite bearing a curse against those who move it. The stone, which renovators say will not be moved, warns: "Blessed be the man that spares these stones/ And cursed be he who moves my bones." Shakespeare, who was baptised and buried at the church, is thought to have penned the warning epitaph.

The Bard's grave slab, in the chancel of Holy Trinity Church, Stratford-on-Avon, is visited by thousands of tourists every year. He was baptised there in April 1564 and buried there 52 years later.

The Rev Martin Gorick, the vicar of the church, which dates back to 1210, said he was confident the restoration work would not incur the wrath of Shakespeare: "The gravestone is crumbling to some extent and we want to consolidate that, and do some improvements around the grave so it lasts longer. We are actually conserving the gravestone, so it should be a blessing rather than a curse."

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