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50 Years of Pirelli Calendars
Italian tyre manufacturer Pirelli is celebrating the 50th anniversary of its famed Pirelli calendar amid celebrations in Milan that include a series of cultural initiatives as well as a gala evening to be hosted in the contemporary art gallery HangarBicocca.
This year's calendar, which was conceived by Helmut Newton though executed by Manuela Pavesi and Xavier Alloncle, centres around the Pirelli tyre and trademark beautiful women. It is made up of 12 black and white photos taken in locations like Montecarlo and Chianti, in Tuscany, as well as 29 so-called backstage photos.
One of the day's events includes a charity fundraising effort to raise assistance for the stricken population of the island of Sardinia, which has been ravaged by storms in recent days that killed an estimated 16 people. "Today should have been a day of celebrations, and instead it is a day of national mourning," Pirelli Chairman Marco Tronchetti Provera told journalists at the Milan headquarters of the company. "We couldn't postpone the event, but we had to remember what happened in the nation."
City officials in downtown Rome announced initiatives to stamp out electronic gambling machines endemic to local bars. 'Slot-free' certifications will be issued to virtuous locales that forgo videopoker or electronic slot-machines, and local laws regulating gambling locations will be rigorously enforced.
''We have provided a stamp of quality for commercial activities that do not have videopoker inside,'' said Sabrina Alfonsi, the head of a local legality and security commission for one of Rome's 20 administrative areas called sub-municipalities. Alfonsi explained that sub-municipalities do not have the power to regulate gambling, but they can create incentives for desired behaviour and enforce existing laws.
Alfonsi said certified 'slot-free' bars will also qualify for small subsidies from the Lazio Region. ''Moreover, we will check with the municipal police to ensure enforcement of a law requiring a 150-metre distance from any school, church or hospital for any locale with videopoker,'' Alfonsi added.
Righteous Among The Nations
Late Italian cycling giant Gino Bartali cemented a new heroic status as he was celebrated as one of Israel's "Righteous Among The Nations" for clandestine courier rides during WWII that helped save countless Jews from the Nazis.
Bartali, the famously devout Catholic rival of Fausto Coppi, never liked talking about his daring wartime activities and they long remained a virtual secret except among family members and those who participated in his life-saving feats. It was only after Bartali's death aged 85 in 2000 that the scale of his deeds gradually emerged.
Bartali won the Giro d'Italia three times (1936, 1937, 1946) and the Tour de France twice, in 1938 and 1948. When Germany occupied Italy in September 1943, he became a courier for the Italian Resistance. Wearing the racing jersey emblazoned with his name, he would cycle from Florence through Tuscany, Umbria, and Marche, sometimes as far afield as Rome, with forged identity documents for Jews escaping persecution hidden in the handlebars and seat of his bicycle. He also hid a Jewish family in his cellar, saving their lives.
The State of Israel and the Yad Vashem Shoah Museum in Jerusalem recognized Bartali as a Righteous Among the Nations, an honor for non-Jews who risked their lives during the Holocaust to save Jews from extermination by the Nazis.
"My dad cycled a lot of kilometers, and among those many kilometers are included those he cycled to save so many people, so many individuals," said the champion's son Luigi. "For him, that was part of being a sportsman. He always said, if you only practice sport as a physical exercise devoid of social value, then it doesn't really have any meaning".
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