after a complaint from Uderzo’s daughter, a drawing fails to find a buyer at auction

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after a complaint from Uderzo’s daughter, a drawing fails to find a buyer at auction

Sylvie Uderzo finally won her case: although her complaint was not enough to prevent the auction of a drawing by her father, no one came forward to acquire it.

An original comic book cover Asterix and Cleopatra from 1963 was put up for auction on Sunday in Brussels but did not find a buyer after a legal challenge from the daughter of designer Albert Uderzo.

The price of this work measuring 32 by 17 centimeters, put up for sale by the Millon house, has been estimated between 400,000 and 500,000 euros. But no offer was made at the opening price and the stock was ultimately not sold.

Millon general manager Arnaud de Partz told AFP that buyers may have been discouraged by the complaint from the daughter of French designer Albert Uderzo, who died in 2020. Sylvie Uderzo argued that if her father had given the painting, he would have done it. he signed and autographed it, and so this painting must have been stolen.

Millon insists she is selling the work on behalf of the son of a man who received it more than 50 years ago from Uderzo himself, the co-creator of the Asterix series.

The dedication of discord

Sylvie Uderzo filed a complaint with the prosecution on November 27. But the Brussels public prosecutor’s office finally noted “the absence of an offense” and decided on Friday to dismiss the complaint, according to an email from a prosecutor to lawyers of which AFP was aware. .

Sylvie Uderzo’s lawyer, Orly Rezlan, had warned that any buyer of the original drawing could be prosecuted for receiving stolen goods, an idea rejected by the auctioneers.

“During his lifetime, Albert Uderzo publicly declared that he would oppose the sale of any drawing that did not include his dedication,” the lawyer argued last week.

But Millon assures that many other unsigned Uderzo pieces have been put up for public auction before.

And the house produced a photo in which we see a man presented as the buyer of the drawing sharing a meal at the table of the Uderzo couple, in the garden of a Norman hotel at the end of the 1960s. “We showed this photo to Sylvie Uderzo to show her that the seller’s father knew her father well,” explained Arnaud de Partz.

Growing market

The story ofAsterix and Cleopatra published as a serial in the magazine Pilote in 1963 and was bound as the sixth adventure book in the series in 1965. The gouache up for auction represents the reclining Egyptian queen and the two Gallic heroes Asterix and Obelix, must have been sold at the auction of Brussels. Millon house.

She parodies the poster of the Hollywood epic Cleopatra from 1963, then the most expensive ever made, with Uderzo’s Cleopatra in the same pose as his film star Elizabeth Taylor. Asterix, the valiant Gallic hero, replaces Julius Caesar played by Rex Harrison and his corpulent sidekick Obelix replaces Marc Antony played by Richard Burton.

In recent years, works of art from original editions of French and Belgian comic books such as Asterix or Tintin have attracted wealthy collectors and investors.

In February, the original cover of Tintin in America by Belgian Hergé, dating from 1942, was sold in Paris for 2.16 million euros. But the estates of late comic book authors and illustrators fiercely protect the rights, and several sales have sparked controversy.

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Alice Ross

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