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Made in Belgium exhibition

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Harrock n roll
#1 · Posted: 14 Mar 2005 10:51
I don't know if anybody has been following the ongoing farce surrounding the exhibition “Made in Belgium”.

“Made in Belgium” is to be held this year to celebrate the 175th anniversary of Belgium. Tintin was to be one of the main attractions (well, of course!). Unfortunately the organisers have fallen foul of Moulinsart, originally because they wanted to display their own examples of work. It seems Moulinsart, as guardians of “the spirit of Tintin”, wanted to exercise control over how Tintin was presented - too much control as far as the Made in Belgium organisers were concerned! It has now escalated into a media war with both sides refusing to budge. Even Herge's nephew, Georges Remi, has become involved (see the article Herge's nephew slams Tintin estate)

Moulinsart have also issued a statement on the Tintin.com site (The Hergé Foundation and Moulinsart SA are very sad!).
#2 · Posted: 14 Mar 2005 11:28
I knew nothing of this - thanks for pointing it out. As both sides are blaming each other, I can’t quite put my finger on where the actual problem lies. However, I was intrigued by the line in the Moulinsart statement:

Showing pieces or models made by other people is a nonsense.

Yes, but that was more or less what the Tintin in the City exhibition was. Apart from reproductions of a letter and the photos and postcards pertaining to the Geneva hotel and surroundings for Calculus Affair, I don’t think there was a single piece of original art or artifact there.

What’s doubly odd is that I didn’t miss them either, precisely because the models exhibited were so beautifully done, and I’d go to something similar in the future; so in slamming the Made in Belgium event, Moulinsart seem to be undermining the success which was the In the City exhibition!
Harrock n roll
#3 · Posted: 14 Mar 2005 16:04
It is a little hard to fathom what this disagreement is actually about. From what I've gleaned elsewhere it seems to be partly a financial dispute. The expo organisers had wanted (for example) to use a model of a rocket which they had acquired from an exhibition in Seville so, reading between the lines, perhaps they were not willing to pay Msart any money for a Tintin display.

As it says in Msart's statement in the Foundation's mind, it was not conceivable to present Hergé without displaying his work, his drawings, his own sketches and his signature. This would all cost money.

I can't imagine that the Made in Belgium expo is strapped for cash so it must be a point of principle. Also, notice how the statement only mentions the (non-profit making) Foundation and not once mentions Moulinsart!

The statement also says it is like the train leaving without us but it is not for want of trying. I noticed they've used a picture of Tintin grabbing on to a speeding train, read into that what you will...
UK Correspondent
#4 · Posted: 14 Mar 2005 17:01
The Hergé Foundation and Moulinsart SA are very sad!

Yes they are.

As far as I can see, the main problem seems to be either down to money or Moulinsart being too stringent with the rights. It doesn't seem to be anything new - let's not forget the "Temple du Soleil" affair in Paris. I think it's a travesty that Tintin won't be represented at the expo, and Nick Rodwell's position as head of le château seems to be in question. It's nice to see that Hergé's nephew has voiced his opinion - the Belgian paper "La Dernière Heure" has as its cover story, "Sauvez Tintin !".

The situation has escalated a bit - collectors are offering pieces to the expo on loan, and a lawyer is offering his services free of charge to represent Made in Belgium "for the prestige of the country. So that the most famous illustrator of the country may take his place beside the greats".
Harrock n roll
#5 · Posted: 15 Mar 2005 11:34
The story has also made today's The Scotsman newspaper


To quote: Yesterday, an exhibition spokeswoman said: "It is true about the money; we had to rethink the exhibition. But we are still talking and hope to come to an agreement without paying money."
#6 · Posted: 15 Mar 2005 13:32
When the famous belgians they have are Poirot and the guy who invented the saxophone they need all the people they can get I should imagine.

Really can't see the big deal except for the money side. I would have thought it would be to their benefit, a few leaflets at the door of the Tintin museum, giftshop, etc.

If i was to put my collection of Tintin stuff on display in museum would i be infringing copyright? Surely some private collectors can offer to loan a collection of Herge stuff

It's a shame really and I hope they get this sorted out, I am planning a trip to Belgium to see the Tintin stuff and it would be nice to take in this exhibition if it had Herge content in it.

Seems to me that Moulinsart feel that the organisers wouldn't do a Belgium exhibition without Tintin and are extorting money.

UK Correspondent
#7 · Posted: 15 Mar 2005 16:32
Tintin will be making an appearance from Wednesday - see here - although Moulinsart has not granted permission, and a legal case could still follow.
Harrock n roll
#8 · Posted: 15 Mar 2005 17:27
...or for a shorter English language version of the story mentioned by Richard see

Moderator Emeritus
#9 · Posted: 20 Mar 2005 15:36
There was an article about the fiasco in 'The Sunday Telegraph' today (p. 9) - taking a stance against Nick Rodwell, quoting it as 'scandulous and disgusting'. The article includes comments from both Nick Rodwell and Georges Remi Jr. Headline : "Billions of Blistering Barnacles ! Briton prevents Belgium from celebrating Tintin".
Trivia Challenge Score Keeper
#10 · Posted: 20 Mar 2005 16:37
Putting the issue of blame for Tintin's absence aside (at the moment it seems to be one person's word against another's), what strikes me is a certain amount of misplaced patriotism that has led to Rodwell's "Britishness" being held up as a reason for him being unfit to protect something so sacred to Belgium.

This is nothing new: I recall mumbles of discontent at Michael Farr's book being championed by Moulinsart as the "definitive" reference work (after Benoit Peeters fell out with them spectacularly), and the presence of both Farr and Harry Thompson speaking as experts in Tintin et Moi. The feeling was that there were plenty of equally good, if not better, Belgian and French authorities to contribute. And there was a fair bit of bad feeling that the official logo for the 75th anniversary said "Since 1929" in English, and that many important Tintin drawings were outside Belgium for a whole six months last year during the Tintin at Sea exhbition in London. But it seems that every time Moulinsart takes a step wrong, a knee-jerk reaction is to point to Rodwell's ethnicity, as if it mattered.

Now I'm not one to blindly support Le Chateau in every decision they've made, and perhaps everyone agrees that this current affair should have been handled much better. Neither do I blame the Belgians particularly; after all, there are those in Liverpool who get incensed about Americans trying to market the Beatles as their own, and no doubt the shareholders and fans of Manchester United would have some sympathy with that view. But I think drawing attention to someone's origin - inasmuch as it has any bearing on their ability - just clouds the issue and does no-one any favours, it really is a cheap shot to take.


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