From this week onwards, Belgian passports will be detailed with illustrations from Belgium’s cartoon heritage.
Tintin – first published by Belgian cartoonist Georges Remi under the pen name Hergé in 1929 – is only one of the iconic characters to be visible to border officials in the future. Lucky Luke, the Smurfs, as well as many other comic book characters from the industrious post-war Belgian cartoon industry will be printed onto the document.
“We have chosen a design that represents well our country, its arts and culture, with a touch of talent, expertise, humour and humility,” Belgium’s foreign minister, Sophie Wilmès, told the Francophone national broadcaster RTBF.
The move is not only motivated by interest in cartoon heritage, however, with officials claiming that the monotone graphics of older passports are becoming too easy to forge.