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World Osteoporosis Day 2001

European Osteotour

IOF launched The European Osteotour on October 19, 2001 on the occasion of World Osteoporosis Day. The Tour includes two main elements – an exhibition produced by noted photographer Oliviero Toscani, and a travelling bone density-testing facility. Both activities will visit major European cities in 2001 and 2002.

See press release

"Osteoporosis: A Photographic Vision", by Oliviero Toscani

The world premiere of this exhibition was launched at the Museo Pigorini in Rome from October 20 - December 19, 2001. There are three parts to the exhibition – osteoporosis facts, three-meter tall photographs of 23 osteoporosis patients from 15 countries, and a "Video of Hope". The exhibition will travel to the United Kingdom, Germany, France, Spain, Portugal and Hungary, among other European countries.

Oliviero Toscani, who became world famous for his controversial photographs for Benetton, felt that viewers could better understand the nature of osteoporosis if people with osteoporosis were photographed "without the camouflage of clothing or props".

Oliviero Toscani cutting the ribbon

Oliviero Toscani cuts the ribbon for the opening ceremony and addresses journalists.

Oliviero Toscani addressing journalists

"I believe knowledge is the basis of education," Toscani notes. "The people in this exhibition have shown a large amount of generosity by revealing their physical situation in this way. Through the visual effect of the exhibition they will help other people to find out if they are also exposed to the risk."

Dan Mortell, osteoporosis patient, attending the exhibition

Dan Mortell, speaking at the press conference

Dan Mortell, an osteoporosis patient who participated in the photographic exhibit, attended the launch and spoke at the press conference

In Italy, the Tour was launched on October 19 at the Italian Parliament under the auspices of Ageing and Society International Congress with the patronage of the President of the Italian Republic, European Parliament, Presidenza del Consiglio, Italian Ministry of Health, United Nations Information Center, The International Council of Nurses, and other groups, including LIOS-Lega Italiana Osteoporosi, an IOF member.

Faces of osteoporosis patients

The human story: osteoporosis patients who participated in "Osteoporosis: A Photographic Vision"

These activities are made possible by a major sponsorship from the Alliance for Better Bone Health (Aventis and Procter & Gamble), with additional support from other international and national sponsors. The European Osteotour and the Toscani exhibition is endorsed by various governmental institutions, IOF national societies, the Bone & Joint Decade; the International Council of Nurses, and other groups. The exhibition was originated by the German Green Cross, an IOF member society.


An important component of the IOF osteotour is the travelling Osteo-Truck. The Osteo-Truck is designed to provide advice for people at high risk of osteoporosis. Visitors to the Osteo-Truck will be asked to complete a One Minute Risk Test to determine their risk factors. A nurse will help interpret the results, and only those who are at risk will be offered a free bone ultrasound measurement. People can then use the test results for discussions with their personal doctors.


The Osteo-Truck will be launched in Rome on World Osteoporosis Day, followed by visits to major Italian cities including Bologna, Salsomaggiore Terme, Tescara, Napoli, Reggio Calabria, and Catania. The Osteo-Truck is expected to visit up to nine countries and a total of about 40 cities throughout Europe

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