To mark the Grand Départ of the Tour de France the EESC organized a presentation of a book on Italian cycling champion and wartime hero Gino Bartali with the author, journalist Alberto Toscano, on 3 July. The event also included a debate on clean mobility.
"You must do good, but you must not talk about it" Gino Bartali, the Italian cycling champion, three-time winner of the Giro d'Italia and twice winner of the Tour de France, used to say. His story is portrayed in Alberto Toscano's book A Bike against Nazi Barbarism, the incredible destiny of the champion Gino Bartali, which was presented at the EESC on 3 July 2019.
An opponent of Mussolini's regime, Gino Bartali saved the lives of hundreds of Jews in Italy during the Holocaust by acting as a courier, carrying confidential documents on his bike for thousands of kilometres while officially taking the long training rides he was famous for. He was a discreet hero who never talked about his wartime activities, not even once the Second World War was over.
The event at the EESC also included a debate on clean mobility with, among others, Luca Jahier, EESC president, Pierre Jean Coulon, president of the EESC's TEN section and Philippe Close, mayor of the Central Brussels borough. The aim was to honour not only sports and green modes of transport, but also human values. (mp)