The Adventures of Tintin at Sea

- a major new exhibition at the National Maritime Museum

original drawings on display in the UK for the first time

The Adventures of Tintin at Sea, a major new exhibition commemorating the 75th anniversary of the comic strip reporter’s first adventure, opens at the National Maritime Museum on 31 March 2004, in association with the Fondation Hergé.

Star exhibits include the oldest existing drawing of Tintin and a painting of Tintin’s creator Georges Remi (Hergé) by Andy Warhol, on public display in the UK for the first time. The exhibition will be sponsored by Ottakar’s Bookstores and Egmont Books, and will be located in the Museum’s CP Ships Special Exhibitions Gallery.

The exhibition will be divided into sections examining Tintin and the development of the comic-strip; the life of the creator, Georges Remi; and the maritime stories, such as The Crab with the Golden Claws, The Shooting Star, The Secret of the Unicorn, Red Rackham’s Treasure and The Red Sea Sharks. For the first time in an exhibition in the Museum, the text will be presented both in English and French.

Tintin’s global adventures have taken him and his friends - including his dog 'Snowy’ and Captain Haddock - to sea on numerous occasions, with exciting and often perilous results. For example, they have pursued villainous drug smugglers at sea in The Crab with the Golden Claws; joined expeditions to the waters of the North Pole in The Shooting Star; searched for sunken treasure in the Caribbean in The Secret of the Unicorn and Red Rackham’s Treasure; and faced imminent death on a burning ship in The Red Sea Sharks. These adventures will all be reflected in the show.

Tintin is essentially a comic-strip character but Hergé believed in the importance of placing him in a real and believable world. Many of his stories and drawings were based on accurate research, and he took clippings from magazines, visited museums, and consulted friends and experts. For this reason, Tintin’s adventures reflect a degree of reality uncommon in most comic-strip books of this type.

A range of objects included in the exhibition will bring out unfamiliar material from the National Maritime Museum’s collections, demonstrating Hergé’s ability to accurately portray maritime issues and themes, and helping to bring Tintin’s world vividly to life. The show will also exhibit Hergé’s artwork, personal effects, objects and photographs from the collections of the Fondation Hergé, many of which have never been on public display.

Hergé created Tintin in 1929: the irrepressible hero appeared in his first adventure, Tintin in the Land of the Soviets, on 10 January. Tintin, together with his faithful dog, Snowy, and good friend, Captain Haddock, has travelled the world in search of adventure ever since.

Twenty-three books featuring Tintin’s adventures have been published and translated into over fifty languages. They have sold more than 200 million copies world-wide, making Tintin an instantly recognizable icon of popular culture.

Roy Clare, Director of the National Maritime Museum said: 'We are delighted to welcome Tintin to Greenwich and to be working in partnership with the Fondation Hergé. This fascinating exhibition gives the National Maritime Museum a unique opportunity to draw upon its diverse collections to reveal the inspiration behind Tintin’s adventures at sea, and to highlight the accuracy with which they were created. The exhibition will appeal to the young of all ages and deserves to be popular with families.’

Nick Rodwell of the Fondation Hergé, Brussels, said: 'It is a great honour for the Fondation Hergé to be working with the National Maritime Museum and I cannot think of anything more important to promote the recognition of Hergé’s work.’

Visitor information

Exhibition dates: 31 March to 5 September 2004

Admission: Children free, Adults - £5.00, Concessions - £4.00.
Tickets can be booked online from the 20 March at www.rmg.co.uk/tickets
For more information, tel: (0)20 8858 4422

Transport: DLR Cutty Sark for Maritime Greenwich or South Eastern Trains to Greenwich or Maze Hill

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Notes to editors

1. Media preview: Monday 29 March 2004, 10.00–13.00

2. Hergé died in 1983. Shortly afterwards, the Fondation Hergé was created to promote and protect his work. The President of the Fondation Hergé is Mrs. Fanny Rodwell who is currently planning to build a museum near Brussels dedicated to the great Belgian artist. Fanny Rodwell was previously married to Hergé.

3. For more information about Tintin and the Fondation Hergé please visit www.tintin.com

4. A publication to accompany the exhibition will be published on 15 March 2004.

5. Ottakar’s Bookstores - Ottakar's was founded in 1987 and is the second largest specialist book retailer in the UK, with 121 branches in England, Scotland and Wales. James Heneage, founder and Managing Director, has been a Tintin fan since his youth and the name of the company is derived from the Tintin book, 'King Ottokar's Sceptre'. Shops often feature Tintin murals and the recently opened branches include a living recreation of the cover of 'Red Rackham's Treasure', complete with real fish. Recently the company has been adding 'World of Tintin’ sections to its branches, featuring the full range of Hergé books, alongside posters, toys and other related official Tintin merchandise.

6. Egmont Books - The Egmont Group is the leading provider of entertainment in Scandinavia, and the largest in printed entertainment for children in the rest of Europe, operating in 22 countries. Egmont Books is one of the largest children's book publishers in the UK, with a diverse catalogue catering for children of all ages. Above all, Egmont Books aims to entertain and to publish books that children enjoy.

7. CP Ships is one of the world's leading container shipping companies. CP Ships provides international container transportation services in four key regional markets: TransAtlantic, Australasia, Latin America and Asia under its seven readily recognized brands, ANZDL, Canada Maritime, Cast, Contship Containerlines, Italia Line, Lykes Lines and TMM Lines.

8. The National Maritime Museum - the largest and most important museum of its kind in the world - is housed in impressively modernized historic buildings forming part of the Maritime Greenwich World Heritage Site. The Museum attracts over a million visitors a year and incorporates the Royal Observatory, Greenwich (home of Greenwich Mean Time and the Prime Meridian Line), and 17th century Queen's House (England's first classical building and a rare surviving example of the work of Inigo Jones).

Further information: www.rmg.co.uk or (0)20 8858 4422

Issued 13 November 2003 by the National Maritime Museum Press Office.

For further information, please contact Sheryl Twigg or Kirsten Canning on (0)20 8312 6790/6545 Fax (0)20 8312 6521 or e-mail stwigg@rmg.co.uk