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ARGENTINA | 11-12-2023 15:27

Canine cane: Milei's 'four-legged children' star on new presidential baton

The stars of Javier Milei's presidential baton are his "four-legged children" – his five dogs. Made by craftsmen Hugo Pascual Pontoriero and César Pontoriero, the new head of state rejected the traditional cane to opt for a unique canine version.

The symbolic baton received by Javier Milei on Sunday at his inauguration was not the one prepared by renowned silversmith Carlos Pallarols, the traditional provider of the presidential cane, and it features a rather unusual design: images of the new head of state's beloved dogs.

The La Libertad Avanza's five "four-legged children," as he calls them, are featured prominently on the silver top of the baton.

 

Pallarols, who has been producing presidential batons for 40 years, confirmed on inauguration day that Milei did not use the one made by him, even though he delivered a new one personally to the Casa Rosada this week.

Late Sunday evening, Milei’s team confirmed that the baton had been made by craftsmen Hugo Pascual Pontoriero and César Pontoriero.

“Last night they called me to tell me everything was in order, but evidently this morning they made the switch,” explained Pallarols.

“I spoke to Mondino and Karina Milei. His sister said ‘we’re assessing it, but we’ll probably go with what ceremonial [team] chooses.’ The ceremonial people had received my baton, but something happened at the last minute."

The cane the renowned artist took to the Casa Rosada is made of silver, with the upper border bearing a golden Argentine coat of arms.

Yet the baton received by Milei in Congress has the new president’s beloved English mastiffs on its handle instead.

Milei's beloved Conan, his first mastiff, died in 2017.

“I’ve had some very bad moments in my life. And the only two by my side were my sister and Conan. Neither of them ever betrayed me. Ever. Loyalty is repaid with loyalty,” he said in an interview last year.

Conan’s death caused him so much grief that he had him cloned in the United States: he got six dogs, all clones of Conan, of which one died shortly thereafter, according to information published in Milei's autobiography, El Loco, written by journalist Juan Luis González.

The other four dogs are named after his most admired economists: Milton, after Milton Friedman; Murray, after Murray Rothbard; and Robert and Lucas; after Robert Lucas.

 

-- TIMES/PERFIL

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