Owner of rebranded Twitter says Giorgia Meloni and Italy’s culture minister have ‘agreed on an epic location’.
The much-hyped cage fight between the two giants of the tech world, Elon Musk and Mark Zuckerberg, appears to be on after the Italian government said it had agreed to host “a big event” at an ancient Roman location in Italy.
The Italian culture ministry said it was planning to hold a large event in a historical setting involving the two rival billionaires.
It would not be held in the Colosseum, as had been mooted before, but in another location somewhere in Italy, a ministry spokesman told The Telegraph.
He would not be drawn on speculation that the venue could be an ancient Roman site such as Pompeii, Herculaneum or the ancient amphitheatre in Verona in northern Italy.
Earlier, Mr Musk had written on his social media platform X, formerly known as Twitter, that he had met the culture minister as well as Giorgia Meloni, Italy’s prime minister, and that they had “agreed on an epic location”.
He tweeted the word “Gladiator” with two icons representing crossed swords before tweeting:
Mr Musk wrote. “Everything done will pay respect to the past and present of Italy.”
Mr Musk also tweeted, cryptically: “Dulce est desipere in loco” which translates as “It is delightful to play the fool occasionally.”
It was not clear if the event would be some sort of fight between the two tech giants or another kind of encounter.
In a statement, Italy’s culture minister said he had had a “long and friendly conversation” with Mr Musk in which they had discussed “our common passion for the history of ancient Rome”.
Gennaro Sangiuliano said he was discussing with Mr Musk “how to organise a big charity event” of a historical nature.
“It won’t be held in Rome,” he said. But it would raise “many millions of euros” which will be donated to children’s hospitals and the fight against paediatric illnesses in Italy.
“It will be an occasion to promote, on a world scale, our history and our archaeological, artistic and cultural heritage,” the minister said.
Earlier this week Mr Zuckerberg said he was “not holding his breath” over the proposed cage fight happening.
In a post on the new social media app Threads, Mr Zuckerberg said he had proposed August 26 for the showdown.
Following a post on X in which Mr Musk claimed he was training “throughout the day”, Mr Zuckerberg wrote: “I’m ready today… but he hasn’t confirmed.”
Talk of a fight began back in June when Mr Musk posted a message on Twitter claiming he was “up for a cage fight”.
Mr Zuckerberg then posted a screenshot of that tweet with the caption “send me location”.
Mr Musk responded with: “Vegas Octagon” and later suggested, at the end of June, that it could take place at the Colosseum.
In response, Italian officials denied they had given permission for a fight to be staged in the ancient arena.
They suggested that instead of a bloody physical brawl, the two men should instead consider engaging in a “certamen” – an ancient contest in which contestants have to answer questions about classical history and mythology.
To make the challenge more interesting, the verbal dual would be in Latin, officials said.