THEY call him "El Genio de Facebook" and they are overjoyed that a man as rich, famous and influential as Mark Zuckerberg has foregone trendier destinations to enjoy the golden sands of their country's Atlantic coast.
The journalists of Uruguay spent yesterday beating a path to a mansion near the coastal town of Punta del Este, where Mr Zuckerberg is spending eight days with friends. Local newspapers were full of titillating anecdotes about the 27-year-old billionaire's stay at the residence, which is being rented from a wealthy American. It was claimed, Mr Zuckerberg insisted that the property was fitted out with entirely new furniture before his visit.
The national daily El Pais added that Mr Zuckerberg's party of nine is employing a roughly equal number of staff, including two cooks, two maids, two bodyguards, and a pair of security men to man the gates.
In keeping with his reputation for attention to detail, Mr Zuckerberg apparently demanded that the house was scrubbed with "special products". He also asked for the pets of the house be shipped to a vet because some of his companions are "very allergic."
A spokesman for Facebook insisted that Mr Zuckerberg's extended holiday, which began with a week in Asia, was a "private" affair.
Last week photographs of him holidaying in Vietnam emerged online. Ironically, the country is one of the few places in the world where Facebook is frequently blocked, at the behest of its communist government.
Independent News Service