Make Kitco Your Homepage

Golden toilet 'America' was stolen from U.K. museum

Kitco News

(Kitco News) - In another gold heist that would make George Clooney's Ocean's team proud, thieves made off with an 18-carat gold toilet from a British museum.

According to media reports, the working toilet was reported stolen from the Blenheim Palace in Oxfordshire, England. The museum is also the home where former prime minister Winston Churchill was born.

Thames Valley Police, who are investigating the theft have arrested 66-year older man in custody, but the golden toilet has not yet been recovered. The exhibit had been opened for only two days before the theft.

The fully functional golden toilet, named "America," was created by Italian artist Maurizio Cattelan. It has been plumbed into the water system and visitors could fully engage with the artwork for three minutes.

The theft created significant water damage to the museum.

The toilet gained international recognition when it was installed in the Guggenheim Museum in New York in 2016. A year later, it gained even more notoriety after the Trump administration emailed the Guggenheim and asked to borrow Vincent Van Gogh's 1888 painting "Landscape with Snow." The curator of the famed institution proposed the golden toilet as a counteroffer.

In a statement promoting the new exhibit, the museum described the installation "As a comment on the social, political and economic disparities in the United States."

"We are saddened by this extraordinary event, but also relieved no-one was hurt," said Dominic Hare, CEO of Blenheim Palace, in a statement to CNN "We knew there was huge interest in the Maurizio Cattelan contemporary art exhibition, with many set to come and enjoy the installations.

"It's therefore a great shame an item so precious has been taken, but we still have so many fascinating treasures in the Palace and the remaining items of the exhibition to share. The investigation continues, but it will be business as usual from tomorrow, so visitors can continue to come and experience all we have to offer,"

Cattelan valued the toilet at $5 million.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article are those of the author and may not reflect those of Kitco Metals Inc. The author has made every effort to ensure accuracy of information provided; however, neither Kitco Metals Inc. nor the author can guarantee such accuracy. This article is strictly for informational purposes only. It is not a solicitation to make any exchange in commodities, securities or other financial instruments. Kitco Metals Inc. and the author of this article do not accept culpability for losses and/ or damages arising from the use of this publication.