Home International Thieves steal $5 mln gold toilet from Britain’s Blenheim Palace

Thieves steal $5 mln gold toilet from Britain’s Blenheim Palace

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The toilet, valued at more than $5 million, was part of an exhibition of work by Italian conceptual artist Maurizio Cattelan.

A file image made from a video shows the 18-karat toilet, titled "America," by Maurizio Cattelan in the restroom of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York. Thieves have stolen the solid gold toilet worth up to 1 million pounds from Blenheim Palace, the birthplace of Winston Churchill. Picture: AP

LONDON, Sept 14 (Reuters) – Burglars have stolen a
fully-functional 18-carat gold toilet from Britain’s Blenheim
Palace, where it had been installed as an art exhibit, police
said on Saturday.

The toilet, valued at more than $5 million, was part of an
exhibition of work by Italian conceptual artist Maurizio
Cattelan which opened two days ago at the stately home 60 miles
west of London, a major tourist attraction.

The toilet, named “America”, was previously on display in a
cubicle at New York’s Guggenheim Museum, where more than 100,000
visitors were able to use it.

Thieves with at least two vehicles broke into the palace,
the birthplace of World War Two leader Winston Churchill, and
removed the toilet some time before 5 a.m. (0400 GMT), Thames
Valley Police said.

“Due to the toilet being plumbed in to the building, this
has caused significant damage and flooding,” Detective Inspector
Jess Milne added in a public statement.

Police said they had arrested one 66-year-old man in
connection with the theft, but had not recovered the artwork.

Blenheim Palace said it was saddened by the loss of the
“precious” artwork, which it said and that the rest of the
exhibition would reopen on Sunday.

Last year, while the toilet was at the Guggenheim, the
Washington Post reported that President Donald Trump turned down
an offer from the museum to temporarily install the toilet for
his personal use in the White House.
(Reporting by David Milliken, Editing by Christina Fincher)