Entertainment & Arts

Asterix cartoon raises £100,000 for Charlie Hebdo victims

A panel from the cartoon that was sold in Paris Image copyright AFP
Image caption Asterix and the Laurel wreath sees the Gauls attempting to steal Caesar's wreath to season a stew

Original artwork for an Asterix cartoon has sold for €150,000 (£106,782), with proceeds going to families of the victims of the Charlie Hebdo attack.

The storyboard, from 1971's Asterix and the Laurel Wreath, carried a special dedication from the character's co-creator, Albert Uderzo.

Auction house Christie's also waived its commission on the sale, in Paris.

Twelve people were killed when gunmen stormed the offices of satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo on 7 January.

The publication had repeatedly been threatened for publishing cartoons mocking the Prophet Muhammad.

In a separate attack in Paris two days later, an Islamist gunman killed four Jewish men and took hostages at a kosher supermarket before being shot dead by police.

The same attacker is believed to have shot a policewoman the day before.

Image copyright AFP
Image caption Uderzo has put a special dedication on the artwork

Two days after the shootings, Uderzo came out of retirement to pen cartoons in tribute to the victims, who included some of France's most celebrated cartoonists and satirists.

"Moi aussi je suis un Charlie" ("I'm Charlie too") said Asterix in one cartoon, echoing the "Je Suis Charlie" slogan adopted by people protesting against the attack, and advocating freedom of expression.

The drawing also showed the moustachioed cartoon hero punching an adversary high into the air.

Another image showed the characters Asterix and Obelix standing next to one other, their heads bowed in grief.

Speaking to French newspaper Le Figaro, which published the drawings, Uderzo said: "I am not changing my work, I simply want to express my affection for the cartoonists that paid for their work with their lives."

He continued: "How can anyone do something so appalling? How can people claiming to be human beings murder people they have never met but have said something wrong so from that moment, must be killed? This is insanity!"

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