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Tintin publishers dragged into 'racism' case

world Updated: May 06, 2010 21:53 IST

PTI
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The publishers of cartoon Tintin are facing a civil court case after a man accused them of racism over the depiction of Africans in a 1930s comic strip.

Bienvenu Mbutu Mondondo, a Congolese man based in Brussels, Belgium, launched the case over a story in which the beloved schoolboy visits what was then the Belgian Congo, Contactmusic reported.

Mondondo has been chasing the writer's foundation Moulinsart, which looks after author Herge's works, in criminal courts for the last three years, urging authorities to ban the comic book, titled Tintin in the Congo.

But Mondondo launched a civil case on Tuesday in a bid to speed up the suit, naming publishers Casterman as respondents.

A Casterman spokesperson argues that the book shouldn't be banned because it was written such a long time ago.

"We will appear in court on May 12 after having been named both as editor and distributor (of Tintin in the Congo)... (Mondondo) demands that the album be withdrawn from sale or, failing that, that a warning be inserted... Casterman opposes such a withdrawal. This work was created 80 years ago, it is just a snapshot of the sentiments of the day, (and) is distributed in Europe and Africa without problem," Valeria Constant, the spokesperson said.