This May, Tintin's having a ball!

Dossier ~ Monday 25th May 2009
The Crab with the Golden Claws (1941) - Page 09]

It's 2009, and Tintin's spring seems full of promise: the biggest comic strip page in the world (21 x 30 metres) will be unveiled in Brussels, a festival in Namur and, to crown it all, the inauguration of the Hergé Museum in Louvain-la-Neuve. What more could you possibly want?

Tintin on the Grand’Place in Brussels!

From his very first adventure in Soviet Russia (1929), Tintin has always remained a true Bruxellois. He has been seen in front of the old Gare du Nord (Tintin in the Land of the Soviets, Tintin in the Congo), in the famous Avenue de la Toison d’Or (at the beginning of The Red Sea Sharks) and in other places, including the Royal Park (King Ottokar’s Sceptre, in which Tintin retrieves the briefcase of Hector Alembick). Hergé liked to visit these areas, as well as number 26, rue Terre-Neuve, where his grandmother lived. Rue Terre-Neuve is the road which inspired Rue du Labrador (Labrador Road), Tintin’s Brussels residence. Hergé never portrayed Tintin on the Grand’Place in the centre of Brussels. On 7 May this omission will be rectified: we will unveil the biggest comic strip frame in the world, taken from Destination Moon. Would you like a sneak preview? Click on from Thursday 7 May.

Tintin? Massive!

The biggest comic strip frame in the world, unfurled on the Grand’Place in Brussels from 7 to 10 May 2009, has impressive proportions: 21 x 30 metres. The drawing from Destination Moon wasn’t chosen at random: a few days following its display, a space shuttle will take off from Baikonur on a six-month space mission. Commanding the expedition will be Frank de Winne – another Belgian! Will he come across Tintin’s rocket? Media from all over the world will be present for the inauguration, and a camera fixed on a hot-air balloon will immortalise the inauguration by the authorities for Brussels and the Brussels region.

Tintin sits down to eat in Namur

The day following the unveiling of the gigantic comic strip, Tintin will take over the town of Namur for three days: 8, 9 and 10 May. The programme of events can be found on a special page on this site One of the aspects of the festival, featured for the first time this year, is the gastronomic dimension, supported by two prestigious catering schools: the Roger Lazaron institute and the Ilon Saint-Jacques school. These two internationally renowned establishments have rivalled each other to come up with dishes which Tintin and his friends could have tasted while on their adventures around the world. The recipes are published on our site and will appear in the newspapers of the Franco-Belgian group Sud-Presse: La Meuse, La Nouvelle Gazette, La Province, Le Quotidien de Namur, La Capitale and Nord Eclair.

Tintin, hereditary gourmet?

What is the link between Tintin and good food? It’s Hergé, who was an expert in fine food and wine. We can’t say as much for Snowy, who makes less of a gourmet, more of a pig out of himself! Starting from Tintin in the Land of the Soviets, one of Snowy’s first concerns is his next meal. In Namur, the aforementioned catering schools will also serve two wines (red and white) labelled "Moulinsart". You can also sample an authentic "Loch Lomond" whisky. All under the watchful eye of Captain Haddock, of course.

A multi-coloured festival

The Roger Lazaron school not only offers catering tuition, but also has a floral department. Visitors will be invited to admire a floral reproduction of the kite seen on page 48 of Tintin in Tibet. For those interested in finding out about the restoration of comic strip plates, a workshop will provide explanations (see programme). An informative presentation by Moulinsart specialists Michel Bareau and Andy Jacobs will show how two-dimensional drawings are made into three-dimensional objects. There are many more events planned for the programme. One thing is certain: Namur will be the liveliest town in Belgium over the weekend of 8-10 May. This will be a nice present for mothers everywhere, as mother’s day is celebrated in Belgium on Sunday 10 May.

Snowy has the last word.

Snowy will also be one of the stars of the Tintin Festival in Namur, mainly on Sunday 10 May, when a competition will be held to find Snowy’s perfect double, not only in looks but also in character (see details of how to enter on the website). Furthermore there will be a canicross, led by Jean-Pierre Talbot, who played Tintin in Tintin and the Golden Fleece and Tintin and the Blue Oranges, in the early 1960s. As dashing as ever, Jean-Pierre is today the world vice-champion in canicross. Don’t forget the go-kart race, taken straight out of Quick and Flupke, which will give the dogs a break for a while! You are all invited to Namur for a fantastic Tintin Festival 2009.

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