Belgium’s Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs, Sophie Wilmès, recently revealed the new Belgian passport, which will be available starting 7 February 2022. The international passport blends enhanced security features with images of beloved Belgian comic strip characters, resulting in a fun yet fraud-fighting travel document.
Comic strip heroes travel through the passport
Wilmès explains, “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.” Passport holders and travel document inspectors alike will smile at the sight of iconic Belgian comic book figures such as Tintin and his famous moon rocket, his friend Captain Haddock, the blue Smurfs and cowboy Lucky Luke. All characters are presented in a travel theme.
Further, as RTL Boulevard points out, “There are also images of Marsupilami, Bollie and Billie, Blake & Mortimer, Spirou and Fantasio, Jommeke, Natasja, Kari Lente, De Kiekeboes, Largo Winch and Nero. They are partly visibly printed on the blank stamp pages, with details of the cartoon characters ‘invisible’ in ultraviolet ink. Those details become visible with a UV lamp at passport control.”
The Belgian government collaborated with the publishing houses and right holders, who agreed to use their famous cartoon figures to illustrate the new Belgian passport.
Document security: Not child’s play
As whimsical as the new passport is, Wilmès emphasized that, “The Belgian passport is one of the best in the world, it is a source of pride for us, but also an object of desire for counterfeiters. This is why we are constantly working to improve its security.” Indeed, the document’s security has been enhanced, with security features doubled to 48 (including the cartoon characters).
Kingdom of Belgium
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