Detail of the Goscinny Obelisk in Angouleme, France

The Rene Goscinny Statue, Obelisk, and Bust

There are three spots in Europe where they’ve honored Rene Goscinny with public installations. Let’s continue our European tours now with a trip to Warsaw, Paris, and Angouleme to visit them all!

The Polish Bust

The French high school in Warsaw, Poland is named in honor of Rene Goscinny, whose parents came from Poland to Paris

The first statue of Rene Goscinny debuted in 2013 in Warsaw, Poland. It’s at a French school named after him. Goscinny’s parents came to Paris from Poland, so that’s the connection. Goscinny never lived there, though.

Of course, it also tied into a whole publishing event. Anne Goscinny’s memoir about Growing Up Goscinny got a Polish release, as did the Rene Goscinny-written “Little Nicholas” as both an audio book and eBook.

The French high school in Warsaw, Poland is named in honor of Rene Goscinny, whose parents came from Poland to Paris

Two different buildings on Google Maps show up as being the LFV, complete with Goscinny’s signature on them. One is labeled as a “Primary School,” which would usually indicate kindergarten through third grade or so.

In all the pictures I’ve seen of the unveiling event, the kids present looked a little older than that. Getty Images says the kids are in high school, but they’re way too young looking for that.

I looked at both schools, to be sure, but couldn’t find the statue outside in either location. Likely, it’s been moved inside the school, or it’s out of sight from the main road at a point where the Google Street View car can’t see it.

The pictures above are of the primary school. It was easier to get a good picture of the sign with Goscinny’s signature and pen on it. That’s why I used that one, even though I’m guessing the event was at the other.

Here’s the only pic of the bust from Wikimedia Commons, but it’s from the back:

A picture of the Rene Goscinny bust in Warsaw, Poland
Tadeusz Rudzki / CC BY-SA

For a better picture of the bust, you can see some stock photography and video footage of the unveiling. This website does not possess the budget to license that stuff out…

The Angouleme Obelisk

In 2017, a new statue was unveiled in honor of Rene Goscinny. Appropriately enough, this one landed in Angouleme, France, home of FIBD. It was during the festival that the obelisk statue saw its first daylight. Once again, Anne Goscinny was there. This time, Asterix and Obelix joined here for the ceremonies.

The obelisk is covered in word balloons from different series Goscinny wrote for, including Asterix, Lucky Luke, Iznogoud, and Petit Nicholas.

Selbymay / CC BY-SA

The numbers on it are impressive: It stands nearly six meters tall. It’s covered in 81 word balloons. It weights seven tons. The stone cutter took two months to put it all together.

Here’s a closeup so you can see some of the word balloons on there. I can tell you which books those balloons are from by the lettering, alone. Ah, for the glory days of hand lettering…

The Goscinny Obelisk in Angouleme, France
Selbymay / CC BY-SA

Three of the very same balloons you see on this obelisk are also used on Rue Goscinny in Paris, which I’ll show you more of in a future article…

The Goscinny Prize returned to Angouleme at the same time. It’s meant to reward a comic book writer, in an industry where the vast majority of awards are artist-centric. It’s been handed out in the past, but had disappeared for a few years until 2017. Emmanuel Gilbert won it that year. Jean Harambat won in 2018, and Pierre Christin in 2019. Gwen de Bonneval and Fabien Vehlmann won it jointly in 2020.

Anne Goscinny, the mayor of Angouleme, and two friends at the Goscinny Obelisk
Selbymay / CC BY-SA

That’s Anne Goscinny and the mayor of Angouleme with a couple of recognizable figures who need no introduction.

Alternate caption: “Obelix and an Obelisk.”

The Hometown Paris Statue

In 2020, a monument in Goscinny’s likeness debuted in Paris. It stands in a grassy area in front of a subway entrance in the neighborhood where he once lived

The statue is a full body likeness of Rene Goscinny, with several of his characters attached to him. That includes Asterix, Lucky Luke, Petit Nicolas (as yet untranslated, sadly), and Iznogoud. They’re all credited with their artistic co-creators at the base of the statue, which is made up to look like an IKEA bookshelf cube, complete with a few BD albums sitting in it.

Goscinny is framed by two bushes that neatly hide him in this picture. UGH

You can see it on the Street View in Google Maps, but there’s no great angle on it. Look at the corner of Rue Boulainvilliers and Rue Singer (55 Rue Boulainvilliers). From the street, you can see Goscinny looking out.

If you go to the subway station entrance behind the statue and look back, the statue isn’t there. The Google Map pic from that angle is just too old.

Unfortunately, in real life, it looks like the entire area is fenced in, so you can’t just go up to it take a selfie.

The plaque at the bottom of the Rene Goscinny statue in Paris
Celette / CC BY-SA

This is the inscription at the base of the statue that reads, roughly translated:

In homage to Rene Goscinny and all those who elevated the comic strip to the 9th Art. This monument is located under the windows of the apartment where Rene Goscinny lived from 1967 to 1977.

There’s a story on Paris.fr about the unveiling of the statue that shows the signs hanging from the windows of the local apartment buildings with word balloons from Goscinny’s comics.

Yes, Anne Goscinny was there, too.

Here’s a video showing the building of the statue, from the digging up of the dirt to the final installation:

If all of this isn’t enough, I tracked down seven streets named Rue Rene Goscinny.

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2 Comments

  1. Yes, Rene Goscinny’s parents did come from Poland, and the name “Goscinny” means hospitable in Polish.

    1. The town in Poland where Goscinny’s parents came from is now part of modern day Ukraine, which was then part of the 2nd Polish Republic at the time.