Asterix’s 50th anniversary marred by French villagers’ squabble over Gaul inspiration

 The harbour in Erquy, which claims that it is the inpsiration for the village depicted in the Asterix books, is shown next to the harbour as depicted in "Le domaine des dieux" (The Mansion of the Gods)  Photo: AFP

The harbour in Erquy, which claims that it is the inpsiration for the village depicted in the Asterix books, is shown next to the harbour as depicted in "Le domaine des dieux" (The Mansion of the Gods) Photo: AFP

According to a variety of online sources, the festivities around Asterix’s 50th birthday have been spoiled by sqabbling between French villages over who was the inspiration for the warrior’s hamlet of indomitable Gauls.

Asterix’s creators, the late writer Rene Goscinny and illustrator Albert Uderzo, have never given hints as to which village inspired them in the depiction of the hamlet in a forest by the sea besieged by Caesar’s legions.

But people living in Erquy on the Breton peninsula’s rocky northern coast, insist that the village on the first page of every Asterix book, focused on by a microscope, shares geographical similarities to their picturesque fishing port.

“You see these three rocks? They’re the same as those you see under the magnifying glass!” the Telegraph quoted Jean-Pierre Allain, a retired bookseller and passionate amateur archaeologist, as saying.

The other clue to support the claim is a lighthouse on the jetty which reportedly looks like the “Caeser’s camp” on page four of Asterix’s 1971 adventure “The Mansions of the Gods”.

Manuel Mendes, a stonemason whose girth apparently resembles that of Obelix, Asterix’s huge comrade, said: “Asterix’s village is here.”

Among the other villages, where people have made similar claims are the one in nearby Normandy and one 285 miles away in the Calais region.

The anniversary is expected to be hugely celebrated in France, and will be marked with the launch of the 34th book about the first century BC hero.

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