Original art by Tintin’s Hergé found on wall
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.”