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Georges Simenon’s archives return to Belgium

11:59 02/08/2013

John Simenon has donated the entirety of the archival documents relating to his father’s work. He has created the Simenon Heritage Fund within the King Baudouin Foundation, which will ensure its perpetuity. The donation includes manuscripts and typescripts, correspondence, books, photographs, films and magazines and newspapers relating to his books, as well as some of the writer’s furniture and objects that he treasured. This fund pays homage to the internationally renowned novelist who, throughout his career and his works, retained a special attachment to Belgium, the country of his birth, and to Liège in particular. Georges Simenon had already bequeathed the manuscripts and documents that constituted the Georges Simenon Fund to the Centre d'Études Georges Simenon at the University of Liège. John Simenon’s recent donation to the King Baudouin Foundation completes this donation with a considerable and complementary collection. Included in the documents is a wealth of private and business correspondence, typescripts and manuscripts, notably that of Un Nouveau dans la ville, the original pre-publishing versions of his work that appeared in French and foreign newspapers and magazines, the complete collection of his first editions in French, a significant part of the original editions in major foreign languages and a considerable collection of cinema material relating to films based on his books (posters, related books, advertising booklets etc.) and the entire contents of the exhibition L’Œil de Simenon that brought together a selection of photos taken by Simenon during the five long trips that provided inspiration for so many of his works, as well as a number of his favourite belongings including his pipe and his golden ruler. Belgium has thus acquired a unique heritage that had hitherto been kept in Switzerland, whilst the most important sources relating to Georges Simenon and his work have now been brought together in Belgium.

Written by The Bulletin