There is no right or wrong place to begin this tale of toilet thievery, so lets just (I’m going to do this, and I am very sorry) plop right in. A gang of thieves broke into a museum located inside the 18th century stately home where Winston Churchill was born and stole a golden toilet worth $1.25 million that was on display as an interactive art installation.
The piece, titled America, by Italian artist Maurizio Cattelan is a fully functioning toilet made of solid gold. Previously on display at the Guggenheim, the toilet was once offered to Donald Trump in response to the White House’s request to borrow a Van Gogh from the museum. The famed toilet arrived at Blenheim Palace on Thursday. To hype its arrival, Blenheim invited guests to use the opulent toilet for up three minutes at a time. But due to the interactive nature of the exhibit, security was a bit complicated and perhaps also a bit lax:
“Firstly, it’s plumbed in and secondly, a potential thief will have no idea who last used the toilet or what they ate. So no, I don’t plan to be guarding it,” Blenheim Art Foundation Edward Spencer-Churchill told the Sunday Times back in August.
Less than a day after the toilet’s arrival, thieves who broke into Blenheim Palace were able to disconnect it from the plumbing, causing significant flooding and extensive damage in the process. A 66-year-old man has been arrested in connection with the theft but the commode has not been recovered. As always, the real victims of any art theft are a public denied the opportunity to shit on something beautiful.