US media reports plan to stage fight in Colosseum.
Italy's culture ministry has dismissed US media reports that it has proposed the Colosseum as a venue for a cage fight between tech billionaires Elon Musk and Mark Zuckerberg.
TMZ reported that an official from the Italian culture ministry contacted Facebook founder Zuckerberg about staging the high-profile clash with Twitter owner Musk at "the most fabled fight theater in history."
Musk added fuel to the rumours on Friday by posting a series of tweets referencing the Roman amphitheatre, including: "Some chance fight happens in Colosseum" and a quotation from the movie Gladiator: "What we do in life, echoes in eternity".
Some chance fight happens in Colosseum— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) June 30, 2023
A spokesperson for Italy's culture ministry, however, said there was no such proposal to host the fight between the two tech gurus, in a statement published by Corriere della Sera newspaper.
Noting that use of the Colosseum is granted to a select number of high-profile paid events "almost always for charity", the ministry said that if Zuckerberg and Musk wanted to "perform in the Colosseum" it should be "a non-violent challenge", proposing "a sort of certamen, a duel with Latin verses."
The ministry also suggested that the pair would have to "ensure an appropriate financial contribution to be donated to the protection of Italian historical heritage and perhaps a share to Emilia Romagna", the northern region devastated by floods last month.
The Colosseum made world headlines in recent days after a tourist was filmed carving his name and that of his girlfriend onto an inner wall of the Rome landmark, sparking outrage in Italy.
On Thursday culture minister Gennaro Sangiuliano announced that Italy's Carabinieri police had identified the alleged culprit of "the uncivilised and absurd act", who now risks a fine of €15,000 and up to five years in prison.
Last week Musk and Zuckerberg agreed to face each other in a cage fight, however the date and venue for the proposed clash have yet to be announced.
Cover image: Colosseum, 20 May 2023. Photo Wanted in Rome.
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