One of Belgium’s most famous exports is in court on accusations of racism.
A Congolese man alleges Hergé‘s ‘Tintin in Congo’ comic book presents African in an unfavourable light and should be banned.
The story featuring the young Belgian reporter was published in 1931.
Bienvenu Mbutu Mondondo said he thought the portrayal of his fellow countrymen had no place in the 21st century.
“We cannot tolerate acts that contain racism anymore. We have to fight against this today so that society can be at peace,” he said.
The Brussels Court of First Instance heard from the prosecution on Friday. Mondondo has spent the past four years trying to bring the case before the court.
A lawyer for the publishers said banning the Tintin book would open a Pandora’s box.
“That is to say that tomorrow, we’ll be asking to ban works by Charles Dickens which contain anti-Semitic undertones,” said Alain Berenboom, counsel for Moulinsart.
Tintin’s trip to what was then the Belgian Congo has been criticised in the past because of its depiction of colonialism and racism.
The Belgian author Hergé said it merely reflected the naive views of the time.
Defence lawyers will present their arguments on October the 14th.