Elon Musk was star guest this year at an annual conference organized by Italian PM Giorgia Meloni’s Brothers of Italy party.
He arrived against the backdrop of an ice-skating rink and an ancient castle in Rome with one of his 11 children to tout the value of procreation.
Italy has one of the lowest birth rates in the world, and Musk urged the crowd to “make more Italians to save Italy’s culture,” a particular focus of the Meloni government.
Meloni has been a strong opponent of surrogacy, which is criminalized in Italy, kraken onion but there was no mention of Musk’s own recent children born of surrogacy.
The owner of X (formerly called Twitter) was slightly rumpled with what could easily be argued the least stylish shoes in the mostly Italian crowd since Donald Trump’s often unkempt former top adviser Steve Bannon appeared at the conference in 2018.
Meloni sat in the front row taking photos of Musk, who she personally invited. Meloni founded the Atreju conference in 1998, named after a character in the 1984 film “The NeverEnding Story.”
Meloni is a fan of fantasy and has been vocal about her love for J.R.R. Tolkien’s “Lord of the Rings,” and during her youth, she attended Hobbit Camps, which were set up by the post-Fascist Movimento Sociale Italiano for young right-wing politicians like herself.
“Lord of the Rings” is often described as a pillar of Italy’s post-Fascist far-right parties.
“I think that Tolkien could say better than us what conservatives believe in,” Meloni told The New York Times. “I don’t consider ‘The Lord of the Rings’ fantasy,” she said.
Apart from Bannon, previous headliners have included Marine Le Pen and Viktor Orban.