The auction of four original drawings by Albert Uderzo, the comic book artist who created Asterix and who died of COVID-19 in March, has fetched nearly 350,000 GBP, with the proceeds going to improve the lives of people in hospitals.
The auction took place yesterday (Tuesday 26th May) and the 390,000 EUR (347,000 GBP) they have fetched will be given to the Fondation Hopitaux de Paris-Hopitaux de France, a foundation that was founded in 1989 and whose goal is to improve the quality of life for hospitalised patients.
The drawings were generously put up for auction by the world-famous cartoonist’s family.
The auction was handled by Artcurial, a French auction house headquartered at the historic Hotel Marcel Dassault in Paris.
In a statement on their website, Artcurial said: “To honour the memory of Albert Uderzo who passed away on 24th March, his wife Ada Uderzo and his daughter Sylvie wanted to pay their respect to the French hospital staff by donating five original pages to be sold during a charity auction organised by Artcurial in Paris on 26th May. Among them are three Asterix pages, a Tanguy et Laverdure page, and a page from Oumpah-Pah.”
Ada Uderzo is quoted in local media as saying: “My husband was very moved by the appalling health crisis we are experiencing. One month after his disappearance, my daughter Sylvie and I wanted to do what he would surely have done: support and thank in his memory the nursing staff, these new heroes of the village France! (sic)”
Albert Uderzo died on 24th March after contracting COVID-19 at the age of 92. At the time, Bernard de Choisy, Uderzo’s son-in-law, told reporters: “Albert Uderzo died in his sleep at his home in Neuilly in the french department of Hauts-de-Seine of a heart attack unrelated to the coronavirus.
“He had been very tired for several weeks.”
Asterix was written by Rene Goscinny and illustrated by Albert Uderzo until Goscinny’s death in 1977. Uderzo then continued writing until 2009, when he sold the rights to the publishing company Hachette.
The Asterix series is one of the most famous Franco-Belgian comic strips in the world, with the series translated into 111 languages and dialects as of 2009.
The success of the series has led to the adaptation of its books into 13 films: nine animated and four live-action, one of which, Asterix and Obelix: Mission Cleopatra, was a great success at the French box office.
There have also been a number of character-based games, and a theme park near Paris, named ‘Parc Asterix’. The very first French satellite launched in 1965, was also named after the comic book character.
In 2017, 370 million copies of Asterix books were sold worldwide, with co-creators Rene Goscinny and Albert Uderzo being the best-selling French authors abroad.
Archive Story: Legendary Asterix Creator Uderzo Dies At 92
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