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Exhibition: "Tintin and the City", Brussels, April 2004

Harrock n roll
#1 · Posted: 3 Apr 2004 10:59
Here's an article that I translated and adapted from "Le Soir" April 01, 2004.

Saint-Gery Markets, within the heart of Brussels, is the place chosen by the Atelier d'édition Millefeuilles to host an exhibition called Tintin et la ville (Tintin and the city). It will feature all cities of the world to which he traveled, but especially the one where he was born and lived the essence of his life, Brussels.
In close cooperation with the Hergé Foundation, which in particular opened Hergé's photographic archives to them, the craftsmen of the exhibition have researched the small details of the Belgian capital shown in the stories.
The exhibition Tintin et la ville, shows these views of Brussels. The observatory of Uccle in The Shooting Star, the old market in The Secret of the Unicorn or Le Musées du Cinquantenaire and Tervuren in The Broken Ear and The Seven Crystal Balls. These allusions to Belgium are obvious at the beginning, like Tintin's return in Land of the Soviets, which he made at Gare du Nord, or his boarding a ferry at Ostend when he left for the Black Island. They are more allusive later, like the Tibetan monks who evoke curious localities, like Pôh-Prying (Poperingen) or Wei-Pyiong (Wépion)!
Besides, these allusions follow the chronological life of Hergé. The backgrounds of Quick and Flupke or King Ottokar's Sceptre irresistibly evoke the populated districts of Etterbeek where he was born and lived in his youth. Rue de Theux, his childhood home is built on the model very of a typical Brussels 3 storied house... like the apartment of Tintin, in Labrador Road, which is shown at the exhibition as a splendid model. Not far from there is 25, rue Cranz, where Hergé was born, nearby la rue Philippe Baucq, has a stone fountain in the street... from the Sceptre.
When the author later moved to Boitsfort, he found on the other side of the street the model for professor Tarragon's villa, still visible from the Hulpe roadway. And the beauties of the L'avenue Louise, where he settled in the Forties, are visible in the colour version of King Ottokar's Sceptre, drawn during those years. Later, Hergé found in Céroux-Mousty, in Brabant, his haven of peace, his Moulinsart (Sart-Mill, of course), but that's another story.
Presenting many models, beside rare and enlightening photographic documents, the exhibition will appeal to young people with it's reconstructions and technical effects, like the reproduction of giddiness and a real mirage... pure sand. The tintinophiles, followers of every last detail by Hergé, will also find something for them.
The exhibition also reconsiders the place of the city in general in Hergé's work, and shows that he often used it as narrative engine. Congestions, meetings at the corner of a street, continuations and a brief case left on a bench were the springboard for many of these narratives.

Tintin et la ville, from April 2, to June 30 at the Saint-Gery Markets, from 10 to 6 p.m. except Monday.
Entry: 5 or 2,5 euros. 02/502.44.24.
#2 · Posted: 3 Apr 2004 11:17
Fascinating. But could it be another Tintin April Fools?
Harrock n roll
#3 · Posted: 3 Apr 2004 11:31
I hope not after all the other ones we've already had (for anyone that missed them, the books are to be continued and Speilberg found his actor for the movie).

I think this is the genuine article....;)
UK Correspondent
#4 · Posted: 3 Apr 2004 12:45
I don't think this is an April Fool - there's information on the official site about it, and even a book for sale on eBay.

Interesting ... I didn't know about Pôh-Prying or Wei-Pyiong !
#5 · Posted: 3 Apr 2004 12:50
Darn April Fools people!
I almost believed the books were to be continued and I most defenitely fell for the one where Speilberg found the actor to play Tintin. Most annoying that they aren't true. Good this one is though, even though it makes no difference to me, because I live in Australia. I doubt there will ever be a Tintin exhibition in this country, but it would be cool!
Harrock n roll
#6 · Posted: 3 Apr 2004 13:29
I would recommend that at some time in your life (wherever you live), you make a pilgrimage to Brussels.
If Moulinsart are to continue with their plans, then it's very likely that Brussels will see a permanent museum devoted to Tintin. It's a valid criticism that the Belgians have been a bit slow to really exploit fully one of their most precious commodities - Tintin. This is all set to change in the future I think, and the prospects look good.
Belgium Correspondent
#7 · Posted: 5 Apr 2004 06:19
You must visit Brussels anyway but I am not sure that you'll find a Hergé Museum in this city.

The new museum will be in Louvain-La-Neuve, a university city built in the 1970s, 25km to the south of Brussels, if the Fondation Hergé has enough money to do it.
If you want to know which places related to Hergé and Tintin you should visit in Brussels, see this site
Harrock n roll
#8 · Posted: 5 Apr 2004 06:45
Thanks for correcting me on the location there! One would think that Fondation Hergé has enough money to do it, n'est-pas?

I hope that this is not too off topic, but here's another article (which I translated badly, a while ago) - an interview with Fanny Rodwell from back in '97.

Fanny R.: "Independent, like Tintin!"

- will there be new adventures of Tintin, done for others like Blake and Mortimer?
- That would not even come me to mind. If it were clearly expressed on this subject in its discussions with Numa Sadoul, Hergé never anything said me of explicit on this subject, but for me, to prolong a work, I do not want to upset anybody by saying that, it is like making a forgery in writing. An author, it is not only the inspiration, it is also the vibration, which passes in all that it makes. One "does not manufacture" not a work, that seems obvious to me.
- the Hergé museum, on the other hand, seems to hold you with heart.
- Yes it is something which I for a long time have with the spirit. It is an idea which must mature, obviously. But the search for a ground is in hand since step badly of time. It is not simple, because to find a ground significant in Brussels is not a small matter. It should be known that it will be a private museum, in which we will invest much, but we always thought that it would be desirable that the authorities, on some level that it is, provide us the ground. My dream being to build something, not to arrange an old building. Because I would like to be able to design the ECRIN which will accomodate the collections. And an opportunity arised...
- From where did it come?
- the town of Brussels east finalizing the acquisition of a ground which is close to the Agneessens place. It is in the center of Brussels, at ten minutes with foot of the Town square, close to a subway station, not far away from the station of the South. There is a project to arrange a small park in the vicinity. All that will be able to only contribute to the improvement of the general environment.
- Thus you completely exclude fusion with the Belgian Center from the Comic strip?
- I would prefer to build something of specific. That must hold with my character, which is rather independent. Hergé also was very independent, and Tintin also, of course.
- Which type of museum want to be done?
- While proceeding by projection of what we hope to put at it, one provides that it should have 3.500 square meters useful, which would imply that more than fifteen people are employed there. It will be necessary that the design of the places of exposure, of the course of the visitor is done in harmony with the architect, that there is a audio-visual space, a kind of small school of Tournesol which is a place of initiation to sciences for the children, it is a thing to which Hergé would have held much. Personalities - I dream of a Hubert Reeves, for example - would come to make conferences there, on the wonders and the mysteries of the universe. Because it is necessary to remain in the spirit of work, in what it has of human, of humanistic, of ecological too. And to return justice to all its dimensions: the beauty of the drawing, content of the scenarios, humour. It is for this reason also that we are so much purists, my husband especially, for the quality of the reproductions. Perhaps that we are too demanding, too on the alert.
- How do you react to the press conference where one declared that you misuse your rights by prohibiting certain uses of work?
- I had the impression that one drew with the bazooka on a fly. The unjust and defamatory things which were known as are without proportion with decisions that the Hergé Foundation estimated to have to take. When uses do not seem to me worthy of Tintin on the ethical or aesthetic level, I am shocked. If I take the example of the book projected on the influence exerted by Jules Verne on Hergé, we did not grant the authorization of reproduction of 80 visual because we do not find not justified to make think that Hergé would have plagiarized, copied Jules Verne. It is not in us, Fondation, to ratify that. But it is always very difficult to say not to people, and even more difficult to intend itself to say not. It does not remain about it less than Hergé is not in the public domain, even if it belongs to the national heritage, even international. All the danger comes from the extraordinary popularity of Tintin, and thus that everyone covets it, and wants to adapt it. And as soon as we exert our right, which is an honor, but also a responsibility, one passes immediately for the malicious one, the bastard. We believe that any participle of the life of work, of the most original interpretations which the exégètes with the most various forms of merchandising propose, but provided that anything is not done. It is accordingly that we also wanted to recover the secondary legislations, and all to gather in a center. I, formerly, had let them escape imprudently, and to find them many concern and much money cost us, several lawsuits which we all gained with an exception, and always on the basis of ethical and aesthetic argument. That one does not come to say whereas one is interested only in the fric and that one fout of work! However, one was attacked, violated so much often that it may be that one becomes a little paranoiac... But it is not a reason to leave squatter and to be made say that one does not have that to close the mouth and to open the wallet. - It would be said that this attack reinforced your combativeness? - It may be that after a similar thing one smells oneself more extremely, because one passes by all the stages: indignation, the discouragement, anger. The advantage, it is that that leads us to define our position, with better defining it publicly. But the slap nevertheless was enormous! Perhaps we needed this jolt to move.

Remarks collected by Jacques De Decker 09/05/97 - and poorly translated by Chris Owens 2003 © Rossel & Co SA - the Brussels LE SOIR

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