Belgian comic book heroes star in new passport

Belgian passports have a new look

featuring the country’s most famous comic characters

Location: Brussels, Belgium

The new passport will be launched on Feb. 7

with familiar images from ‘The Adventures of Tintin’, such as:

the red checkered rocket from ‘Destination Moon’

Captain Haddock’s mansion, Marlinspike Hall

(SOUNDBITE) (English) BELGIAN FOREIGN MINISTER, SOPHIE WILMES, SAYING:"You know, your passport brings you everywhere in the world and certainly the Belgian passport. And it is true that we are very proud of the comics and the Belgian comics that our country has managed to develop. And I don't know if it's soft power, but it's very powerful, I have to say. Therefore, we also chose it because we are not only very proud of what we are doing in Belgium, but it also gives us the opportunity to use the drawing as an element of security for our passports."

Characters from the ‘Smurfs’

and Gaston Lagaffe and Lucky Luke

will also decorate the country’s official documents

(SOUNDBITE) (English) BELGIAN-CANADIAN STUDENT IN OTTAWA, SARAH MURAWSKY, SAYING:"I think it's a great idea. I think a lot of people internationally, especially me living in Canada as well, a lot of people associate cartoons with Belgian culture, so I think it's really cool to be able to identify with that through the passport, which is something you use so often. I really like it, it's creative, it's different, it's unique."

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