In a press release, Belgian Foreign Minister Sophie Wilmès said the new passport is “even more secure thanks to new security and personalization techniques” and added that it will be “recognizable thanks to its original design, which honors one of the jewels of our culture: the heroines and heroes of comic strips.”
Illustration shows the moon rocket of “Les Aventures de Tintin – De avonturen van Kuifje” by Hergé on a page in the new Belgian international passport Credit: ©Herge-Moulinsart, Benoit Doppagne/Belga Mag/AFP/Getty Images
Wilmès also described the Belgian passport as “one of the best in the world” and called it a “source of pride” for the nation. She also noted that it is an “object of desire for counterfeiters,” which is why the Foreign Ministry is constantly working to improve its security.
“The introduction of this new passport is also an opportunity for us to highlight the 9th art, the comic strip, which is a central element of our culture and our influence abroad,” Wilmès said.
The Foreign Minister thanked the “publishers, authors and rights holders who have agreed to participate in the project.”
She also emphasized the reinforcement in the quality and security of the passport but acknowledged that the cost would not increase, which she called a “strong gesture that will be cost-beneficial for our citizens.”
Most of the images on the new passport are taken from the classic comic strips, such as Tintin’s “Explorers on the Moon” — first published in 1954 — and, according to the Tintin website, the comic strip characters chosen to grace the new passport pages are linked to the theme of travel.
Tintin’s adventures took him across the globe, from the US to Sydney and even outer space. Now, Belgian travelers will be accompanied by Hergé’s design along with the other comic strip figures that the country is renowned for producing.