Nick Coghlan added the comment:

Ah, I think I've found a possible underlying culprit: there's a separate C 
level "codec_search_cache" on the interpreter object that is independent of 

The attached patch eliminates the reference leaks entirely (using 
gc.get_referrers() to get a reference to the otherwise inaccessible internal 
interpreter cache).

However, the patch has a bunch of changes that may not be necessary if that 
cache is dealt with properly, so I'm going to revert everything, and *start* 
with fixing the cache cleanup.

Added file:

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