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A scene from Asterix and the Vikings: Obelix and Asterix at a briefing


kpa Publicity / United Archives / IMAGO

The daughter of Asterix illustrator Albert Uderzo is defending herself legally against the planned auction of one of her father's works. Sylvie Uderzo has filed a lawsuit, her lawyer told the AFP news agency on Saturday. The reason given was that the original cover of the comic strip »Asterix and Cleopatra«, which was up for auction, had apparently been acquired by the seller under dubious circumstances.

"The aim of the lawsuit is first of all to prevent the sale or in any case to get more time to clarify the circumstances of the possession of the drawing," said lawyer Orly Rezlan. The lawsuit is for abuse of trust or theft.

Uderzo's gouache drawing dates from 1963. In announcing the auction, the auction house Millon had stated that the seller had owned the title page for "more than 50 years". It had been offered to him by Uderzo "at a dinner among friends."

The auction is scheduled to take place on 10 December in Brussels. The auction house Millon expects proceeds of between 400,000 and 500,000 euros. Uderzo had parodied the film poster for the Hollywood film »Cleopatra« with Elizabeth Taylor, the most expensive movie at the time. The previous auction record for an Asterix drawing is a good 1.4 million euros for the cover of »Tour de France«.