Bilbao Smurfs Statues for 50th Birthday
Bilbao Thousands of Smurfs appeared on the streets yesterday celebrating 50 years of their existence. The Smurfs have been touring Europe since January, when they popped up in Angoulême in central France. Since then, they have visited Holland, Belgium and Italy.
Smurfs are famously blue but the small statues that have appeared on the streets are pure white. Locals can pick up as many as they like, decorate them and enter them into a competition.
The creatures were designed by Pierre Culliford, the Anglo-Belgian cartoonist known as Peyo, and were intended to be secondary characters in the adventures of Johan et Pirlouit. With the words “Can't you look where you smurf? You nearly smurfed me!”, the Smurfs made their entrance into popular culture.
They were immediately popular and featured in 272 episodes of the comic adventure television series The Smurfs.
Although the public are encouraged to be creative when they paint the figures they find on the Bilbao streets, the real Smurfs, according to Peyo's wife, will always be blue. “They couldn't be green. They would have vanished in the vegetation. Red would have been too flashy and yellow, a bit unfortunate . . . only blue was left.”