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Uderzo’s daughter tries to prevent sale of Asterix drawing in Brussels

06:54 05/12/2023

The daughter of Asterix cartoonist Albert Uderzo has filed a complaint to attempt to stop the sale of the original cover drawing of Asterix and Cleopatra at an auction in Brussels.

The auction was scheduled for 10 December at auction house Millon in Brussels, but Sylvie Uderzo said through her lawyer that she has doubts about how the seller obtained the work and wants to prevent the sale.

The drawing dates from 1963 and measures 32x17cm, with its value estimated at €400,000 to €500,000.

The seller, a private individual, claims to have owned the work for more than 50 years after Uderzo allegedly gifted it to their father at a dinner party among friends, according to the auction house.

Sylvie Uderzo wants to first prevent the auction of the piece and then have an investigation done into how the work was obtained.

Her lawyer Orly Rezlan said that depending on the investigation’s outcome, Uderzo could “possibly even recover the work in due course”.

Arnaud de Partz, director at the Brussels auction house Millon, said he had been informed of the complaint but has not yet officially received it and therefore cannot say with certainty whether the auction will be able to go ahead as planned.

The complaint was lodged on the grounds of breach of trust or theft. Rezlan pointed out that Albert Uderzo was in the habit of autographing any drawings he gave away, but that the one to be auctioned is not autographed.

But de Partz countered that “there are many drawings that have been given away and not signed”, adding that at the time these originals had “no value”.

Written by Helen Lyons