Hergé correspondence acquired by the Foundation

18th of February 2015

Mr and Mrs Guy Dessicy have donated around a hundred letters written by Hergé, the famous comic book artist, to his private secretary Marcel Dehaye. The letters are to be entrusted to the Bibliotheca Wittockiana in Brussels, thus guaranteeing their careful conservation.

The donation consists of private correspondence, almost exclusively handwritten and sometimes illustrated, between Hergé and Marcel Dehaye, who was a friend, confidant and private secretary to the creator of Tintin. Much of the correspondence therefore relates to Hergé’s professional life. During this period, Hergé was living in Switzerland.

The letters are already known, with extracts having appeared in two Hergé biographies, notably the one by Benoît Peeters (Hergé, Fils de Tintin, published by Flammarion in 2002) and that of Philippe Goddin (Hergé – Lignes de Vie, published by Moulinsart in 2007).

We should be grateful to Guy and Léona Dessicy for having taken steps to prevent the collection from being broken up and keeping it in Belgium. The letters were acquired by the Dessicy shortly after Marcel Dehaye’s death in 1990. His heirs were aware of the bonds between Mr and Mrs Dessicy and Marcel Dehaye on the one hand, and Hergé on the other.

Guy Dessicy first met Hergé when he was 12. After studying at the academy, Hergé suggested that Guy Dessicy work with him and it was Hergé who taught him the art of being a colourist. Guy Dessicy later went on to found an advertising agency. From 1953, and over the next thirty or so years, Guy Dessicy made a significant contribution to the development of various cultural sites in Brussels and in the 1980s he was instrumental in creating the Belgian Comic Strip Center in Brussels.

Today, Mr and Mrs Dessicy’s generous philanthropic gesture leads us indirectly to draw the public’s attention to the Maison Cauchie, another jewel in our national heritage, to which the couple have devoted a large part of their resources and energy. Located right at the side of the Cinquantenaire Park, this remarkable house, built in 1905, was the home of the architect Paul Cauchie and can be considered as one of the most beautiful Art Nouveau houses in Brussels.