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Blake and Mortimer fresco finds a new home in the Marolles

RUSSELS, BELGIUM : Illustration picture taken on Friday 10 June 2005 shows the new fresco painting of comic strip heroes Blake & Mortimer in Brussels. (BELGA PHOTO YVES BOUCAU)
10:18 25/11/2020

Famous Belgian comic book heroes Blake and Mortimer will continue their search for the author of the mysterious yellow ‘M’ when they reappear on another wall on the Rue du Temple, in the Marolles district of Brussels after leaving the corner of Rue du Houblon and Rue du Grand Serment last year.

After occupying their original home between 2005 and 2019, the fresco, one of the attractions on the capital’s comic book tour, suddenly disappeared. The reason? The construction of student accommodation nearby which obscured the famous work of art.

But there was no way the authorities were going to say a permanent goodbye to Captain Blake and Professor Mortimer. The city was determined to find a new home for the two heroes, created by Edgar P. Jacobs whose last adventures The Last Pharaoh were published in 2019.

“We first looked for a place in the immediate vicinity of Rue du Houblon,” said Arnaud Pinxteren, alderman for urban renewal in Brussels. “But after discussions with the rights holders and the responsible publishing house, it was proposed to look instead for a site in the Marolles, near the Palace of Justice, where Edgar P. Jacobs lived.”

After a long search, a gable end was found, at number 6 on the very narrow Rue du Temple, at the intersection with Rue Haute. The street leads up to the Palace of Justice on Place Poelaert. “Of course, the street is not wide, but the location allows you to see the fresco from the Rue Haute.” The unveiling of the new fresco is planned for the first half of 2021.

The return of Blake and Mortimer to the city centre should not distract from the new objective of the authorities to expand the comic book tour (which features characters such as Cubitus, Tintin, Ducobu, Lucky Luke aand Titeuf) to other neighbourhoods, such as Laeken, Haren and Neder-over-Heembeek. “The comic book tour is already quite dense,” said Arnaud Pinxteren. “We are happy that it is getting richer. But this time, the idea is to get out of the city centre. We have started work in Haren where we already have three frescoes, soon to be joined by a fourth.” The city's goal is to inaugurate five or six frescoes a year.

An appeal for artistic space has been sent out to the owners of houses with gable ends in Laeken and Neder-over-Heembeek. “We want to complete the comic book tour in Laeken, and we want to develop it in Neder,” said Arnaud Pinxteren. “My idea is for each neighbourhood to have its own comic book tour. Hence our call for expressions of interest among the public. Depending on what comes to us and what we have identified, depending on the condition of the walls and their visibility, we will see what can be done.”

Written by Nick Amies