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Runners revisit Red Cross history

A 500km relay race to mark the 150th anniversary of the Battle of Solferino, which led to the creation of the Red Cross, has begun in Geneva.

This content was published on June 22, 2009 - 15:31

Around 20 runners set off from the headquarters of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) for the first 20km leg of a route that will end at the site of the 1859 battle in northern Italy on Friday.

The runners represented various nationalities and wore T-shirts with the Red Cross symbol and the slogan "Our world. Your move."

Hundreds of young national Red Cross volunteers from around 120 countries, together with representatives from the ICRC and the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, are gathering in Solferino this week to celebrate the history of the Red Cross, and to define their vision for tackling today's humanitarian challenges.

From June 28 to July 5 around 250 young people will make the return journey from Solferino to Geneva by bus or on foot.

Various Swiss landmarks will be illuminated in red as part of the celebrations, including the huge fountain on Lake Geneva.

Geneva businessman Henri Dunant helped set up the Red Cross after witnessing the horrors of war at the Battle of Solferino on June 24, 1859. This year is also the 90th anniversary of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, as well as the 60th anniversary of the Geneva Conventions.

swissinfo.ch and agencies

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