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Tintin’s racist misadventure

world Updated: Apr 30, 2010 00:31 IST
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A Congolese man living in Belgium is trying to have Tintin in the Congo banned in the boy reporter’s native country, almost 80 years after Tintin first donned his pith helmet and headed for Africa to patronise its people, slaughter its animals, and spark an undying controversy.

Tintin and his creator, the cartoonist Herge, who launched the strip in, black and white in the Petit Vingtieme newspaper in 1930, are national heroes in Belgium, where a multimillion-euro museum celebrates his adventures and the two million books still sold every year in 150 languages.

However, Bienvenu Mbutu Mondondo, who has been campaigning for years to, have the book removed from Belgian shops, says its depiction of native Africans — including a scene where a black woman bows before Tintin exclaiming “White man very great. White mister is big juju man!” — is ignorant and offensive, and he has applied to the Belgian courts to have it, banned.

“It makes people think that blacks have not evolved,” he said. The verdict, originally expected on April 28 has now been delayed until next week.