Nijntje creator Dick Bruna retires

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In Utrecht, legendary Dutch artist Dick Bruna has put down his pencil. The creator of Nijntje, or Miffy, is retiring. The Nijntje book that came out in 2011 is the last that the 86-year old will ever illustrate because he says he wants to take it easy at his age, RTV Utrecht reports.  The world was first introduced to the little white bunny in the orange shirt in 1955. Bruna's publisher Yolanda van den Berg now confirms that the adventures of Nijntje have come to a definite end after almost 60 years. The Dick Bruna Huis will not sell the rights to the character, which Willy Vandersteen, the illustrator of Suske en Wiske did. "I don't know if that would have worked, because I do get the idea that Dick Bruna's work is very close to him and really comes forth from inside him", Van den Berg tells RTV Utrecht. "I don't know is somebody else could see things the same way that he does." Across the world, from Africa to Scandinavia to Japan, Nijntje is a hit, appearing not only in books but also in other products. The cartoon bunny is one of The Netherlands' most successful fictional characters, if not the most successful.

Bruna's atelier will be re-created at the Dick Bruna Huis in Utrecht next year, giving fans a first-hand view of what the illustrator's creative space looked like. Utrecht will continue the memory of Nijntje in other ways as well. Next year, the rabbit will have existed for 60 years, a milestone that will be celebrated with a musical, and a statue of the rabbit in the center of Utrcht. Nijntje will also play an important role at the start of the Tour de France in Utrecht next year.

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