Since this afternoon, Papa Smurf, Smurfette and Baby Smurf have arrived at Brussels Airport to wave off the passengers who leave from Gates B. In the relaxation and shopping area leading to Pier B, a statue has been unveiled of the blue Belgian comic book heroes, the final touch to a thorough renovation of this area where the Belgian tastes, identity and icons immerse passengers for one last time in the culture of our country.
The statue of the Smurfs at Brussels Airport is inspired by album 14, “The Aerosmurf”, which was published in 1990 and in which the Smurfs appropriately fly a red aeroplane. That same aeroplane formed the basis for the creative minds to conjure up an airport scene. Papa Smurf is the marshaller who indicates where and how the aeroplane should park. Smurfette and Baby Smurf oversee things.
“I am very pleased to welcome the Smurfs to Brussels Airport. For decades they have been an internationally famous icon of our country and are, just like the Tintin rocket in Connector, the perfect representatives of Belgian creativity and our rich comic book culture. We have therefore given the Smurfs a place of honour in the completely renovated area where passengers can enjoy the Belgian culture and cuisine”, says Arnaud Feist, CEO of Brussels Airport Company.
The Smurfs, the small blue comic book heroes created by Peyo (pen name of Pierre Culliford), first saw the light of day in 1958. In their nearly 60-year existence they succeeded in acquiring world fame. The Smurfs embody universal values including solidarity, mutual help, tolerance and optimism which makes them popular with people of all ages, gender or cultural background.
More than 50 million comic books have been sold worldwide and their films dating from 2011, 2013 and 2017 were huge box-office successes.
“We are proud that our Smurfs, undoubtedly the best known Belgian brand abroad, are now here at Brussels Airport in the completely renovated Gallery of Light! For nearly 60 years, the Smurfs have brought happiness to all, and are pleased to greet both young and old as they leave on their journey! The collaboration with Brussels Airport for this project was highly fruitful and cooperative”, says Véronique Culliford, founding chairperson of IMPS and daughter of Peyo.
Smurfs in a Belgian environment
The Smurf aeroplane also draws the passengers’ attention upwards, to the beautiful glass ceiling of the area, which was, at the time, designed to the likeness of the Queen’s Gallery in Brussels by architect Jean-Pierre Cluysenaar. The 12 shops and 2 restaurants were completely renovated with attention for the Belgian identity and regional products.
The renovation of this area is the crowning touch of the major building and renovation project following the opening of Connector. Unlike before, the relaxation and shopping area is now located beyond security screening and passport control, so that passengers can relax here just a few steps from the gates, and comfortably stroll around, enjoy the Belgian cuisine, or wait for the departure of their flights.