Why Chirac didn’t get on his bike at the 1997 Amsterdam summit

Not many people know this, but apparently (background) he went up to his host Patijn and demanded something that better reflected France’s phenomenal contribution to European society. “What kind of thing had you got in mind?” asked the mayor. “Well,” said Chirac, who had noted with envy the PR points scored by Mitterrand with the famous official photo picturing him touching up the works of France’s best philosopher, “how about a Montaigne bike?”

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