Parisienne auction house Huberty & Breyne had to withdraw a batch of 68 pieces of original art from the co-creator of Asterix, Albert Uderzo, after a complaint from the 90-year-old artist.
A sale intended to take place on the 17th of December listed 68 drawings by a young Albert Uderzo from a private collection called the “Rackham collection”. Uderzo states that the pieces were either stolen or borrowed in 2012 but not returned.
Some include drawings he did when he was only 13 years old and were never intended for publication, let alone sale and display. Uderzo also offered a warning that any piece that is unsigned by him should be regarded as stolen.
The owner of the auction house, Alain Huberty, while holding an investigation to determine the origin of the art pieces, states that he knows the seller is honest, and that any statement from Uderzo that the art disappeared in 2012 is false. And the owner reports they have owned them for 30 years, and no police complaint has been filed.
This has become a topical issue, as while original prints of the comics have been considered valuable in France, the original art boards for comics were not, until relatively recently… and now they are amongst the most valuable pieces of paper or cardboard one can own.