Orig­i­nal art by Tintin’s Hergé found on wall

The Daily Telegraph - - World News - By James Crisp BRUS­SELS CORRESPONDENT

GE­ORGES REMI, the Bel­gian boy who be­came Hergé and cre­ated The Ad­ven­tures of Tintin, honed the skills that would give birth to the mod­ern comic strip on the walls of a for­got­ten school scout hut in Brus­sels.

Yves Rouyet, a life­long Tintin fan and lo­cal coun­cil­lor, is cam­paign­ing to save the fres­coes of ad­ven­tur­ing boy scouts, Amer­i­can In­di­ans and knights, which are in des­per­ate need of restora­tion af­ter al­most 100 years of be­ing ig­nored.

“These mu­rals are an es­sen­tial mo­ment in the his­tory of comic strips,” said Mr Rouyet. “Hergé in­vented a man­ner of sto­ry­telling with draw­ings that had never been seen be­fore.”

Thierry Scail­let, a his­to­rian and ar­chiv­ist from the Catholic Uni­ver­sity of

‘Hap­pily, the mu­rals were never painted over and were never de­stroyed but they have never been re­stored’

Lou­vain, said: “It is the old­est work by Hergé that we know of.”

The dis­cov­ery of the work, ne­glected since the early Twen­ties, has all the hall­marks of one of Tintin’s ad­ven­tures.

Mr Rouyet, a lo­cal his­to­rian, re­ceived a mys­te­ri­ous tip-off last month, from a caller who knew his jour­nal­ist fa­ther was a comic strip ex­pert.

He in­ves­ti­gated and the trail led him to the In­sti­tut St Boni­face, the school in the Ix­elles area where a young Hergé stud­ied, and a now dis­used scout hut on its ground. There he found a long-lost artis­tic trea­sure that pro­vides clues to the in­flu­ences that gave birth to Tintin.

The 15-year-old Ge­orges Remi was al­ready show­ing the flair for ac­tion that would make his comic books among the most pop­u­lar of the 20th cen­tury.

“Hap­pily, the mu­rals were never painted over,” said Mr Rouyet, “and they were never de­stroyed but they have also never been re­stored. The school can­not af­ford to pay for the restora­tion so we must cam­paign.”

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