Musk asks PM Meloni to find ‘epic’ Italian site for Zuckerberg fight

Tech billionaire Elon Musk, wanting a historic background for his planned fight against fellow tech billionaire and Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, has turned to Italy’s far-right Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni for a location.

Musk wrote on his online platform X (formerly Twitter) on Friday that he had spoken to both Meloni and her Minister of Culture Gennaro Sangiuliano.

“They have agreed on an epic location,” he wrote, without revealing where it will be.

He did say that “everything in camera frame will be ancient Rome, so nothing modern at all”.

Those speculating that two of the world’s richest men will battle it out like ancient warriors at the Colosseum in Rome should think again.

“It will not take place in Rome,” Sangiuliano said, adding that he had a “long and friendly conversation” with Musk.

“We are thinking about how to organise a great charity and historical event while respecting and fully protecting the sites,” he said.

Musk wrote on his platform that the “fight will be managed by [his] and Zuck’s foundations”, referring to Facebook’s Zuckerberg. Meloni’s office had no initial comment on Friday.

Tourist who scratched name into Colosseum says he didn’t know it was so old

There does appear to be a difference over where the money raised by such an event would go.

The Italian culture minister said there were plans “to donate a large sum, many millions of euros, to two important Italian children’s hospitals”.

Musk, on his social media site, said “all proceeds go to veterans”.

The prospect of the fight first surfaced in June after Musk challenged Zuckerberg, who agreed. There was much press after that, but things quietened down, so many doubted the two would ever meet in the ring.

Italy’s Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni holds her end-of-year news conference in Rome in December 2022. Photo: Reuters

Musk recently repeatedly said that he wanted to fight.

He wrote that the event would be broadcast live on his service X as well as Zuckerberg’s Meta, Facebook’s parent company.

But those interested in seeing two middle-aged men duking it out with fists instead of posts or share prices will have to wait a bit.

Musk, 52, needs surgery on his shoulder blade. It is rubbing against his ribs, he said, but thinks “recovery will only take a few months”.

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