Historic Cemetery To Restrict Tours Because Of Vandalism

Jan 27, 2015

A historic New Orleans cemetery will soon be off-limits to tourists on their own because of repeated tomb vandalism.

Starting in March, entry to St. Louis Cemetery Number One will be restricted to relatives of those buried there. Others must be accompanied by a tour guide registered with the Catholic Archdiocese of New Orleans, which owns the property.

That cemetery may have started the city's tradition of above-ground crypts

In late 2012, someone covered the reputed tomb of voodoo priestess Marie Laveau with pink paint.

Tour companies will have to show insurance and a city license, and pay the archdiocese up to $5,400 a year.

Spokeswoman Sarah McDonald says some unlicensed guides encourage people to deface tombs. She says other people have littered and camped out there.