Fifty years after Albert Uderzo and Rene Goscinny unveiled their comic stars, Parisians are to be besieged by tributes to France's most popular comic strip.
For half a century they have been fending off Roman attacks from their village, armed only with fearlessness, flying menhirs and a cauldron of magic potion. But now Asterix and his band of indomitable Gauls are invading Lutetia - modern-day Paris - and determined to make their presence felt.
Fifty years after Albert Uderzo and Rene Goscinny unveiled their comic stars on the pages of Pilote magazine, Parisians are to be besieged by tributes to France's most popular comic strip. On Wednesday, among the third-century Gallo-Roman baths upon which the Musee de Cluny is partially built, an exhibition of original plates and manuscripts opened to allow fans a glimpse of the creators' inspirations.
Goscinny's daughter Anne said the show would reflect the "perfect osmosis" that existed between her father and Uderzo. "It is the first time that people will see this," she said. "My father and Albert were very different ... But it is always out of differences that the most beautiful things are born."
To add to the Asterix fervour gripping the capital, various symbols of the books such as giant menhirs and speech bubbles of famous exchanges will be erected at eight locations including the Place de la Concorde and in front of the Eiffel Tower.
Since it first appeared in October 1959, Asterix has sold 325 million copies and been translated into 107 languages.
Copyright: Guardian News & Media 2009