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Edifis

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Edifis

Edifis
is "the best architect in Alexandria", which according to Cleopatra is hardly saying much… And we have to admit she's right when we look at the ramshackle structures built by Edifis and wonderfully illustrated by Albert Uderzo. These constructions - whose architecture could best be described as cubist - always seem to be on the point of caving in, making Asterix readers (happy not to call these buildings home) collapse themselves… with laughter! And yet, no one doubts that this architect, utterly devoid of any talents (the currency in use in Egypt at that time) revolutionized working practices in his profession.

Making the most of his friend Getafix's famous magic potion, he leads some notable social advances (for example, reducing the prescribed number of whip cracks needed to improve worker's productivity), and brings Egyptian art towards Modernity by abandoning the pointed forms of the Pyramid era. Better still, Edifis meets the deadline laid down by Cleopatra for building a palace for Julius Caesar, a very rare occurrence indeed in the building trade in those days … To reward him for this success, Cleopatra covers him with gold (both figuratively and literally!). At this point, we should mention an anecdote from Alain Chabat, director of the film Asterix & Obelix: Mission Cleopatra, featuring Djamel Debbouze as Edifis and which drew a record audience of 15 million in France alone.

Alain Chabat explains that this legendary scene did not make the final cut on the big screen since, after several unsuccessful attempts, they were simply unable to recreate the hilarious expression of the slave in the album, as he walks away saying "I'm coming back" when Obelix points out that Edifis is not completely covered in gold ("There's still a bit sticking out here"). The film simply could not better the richness of expression of the Asterix creator's cartoons!

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