"Legal attempts to ban Tintin in the Congo for racism are a form of "book burning", according to lawyers acting for the estate of Hergé, the Belgian cartoon hero's creator.
Belgium's courts are investigating whether Tintin's 1931 Congolese adventures, when the country was a Belgian colony, portrays black Africans in a racist way.
Alain Berenboom, a lawyer for the estate of Georges Remi, the Tintin cartoonist who worked under the Hergé pen-name, attacked the calls to censor the book which was published for over 70 years before being accused of racism. "I cannot accept racism but I consider it equally lamentable that we burn books. To ban books is to burn them," he said. "It has never caused public order problems, including in Africa."
Bienvenu Mbutu Mondondo, a Brussels-based Congolese man, has spent the last three years pursuing Tintin's copyright holders and publisher in the civil and criminals courts....
British editions of Tintin Au Congo have not been banned but are now sold with a band of paper around the cover, warning the content is offensive.
Allegations of racism surrounding the Tintin book are deeply sensitive in Belgium, a small country where the intrepid boy reporter and his dog Snowy are a rare national symbol, and where postcolonial guilt over its record in the Congo is acute.
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