The 18-carat gold toilet artwork has not been found
The 18-carat gold toilet artwork has not been found: The British Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) said on Monday (November 7) that four suspects were charged with stealing the “America”, a gold art toilet on display at Blenheim Palace in the United Kingdom. The Oxford District Court will hear the case on November 28, but the whereabouts of the missing gold toilet are still unknown.
According to comprehensive foreign media reports, this 18K gold toilet is one of the gold toilet “American” works by Italian conceptual artist Maurizio Cattelan and is worth 4.8 million pounds. It was exhibited at the Guggenheim Museum in the United States in 2016.
During the exhibition, the toilet was fully functional, inviting viewers to “use the device alone and privately” and experience “unprecedented intimacy” with the artwork. In order to avoid long queues, people made reservations for a limited time of 3 minutes. At that time, 100,000 people queued up to use it.
The golden toilet was moved to Blenheim Palace, the birthplace of former British Prime Minister Winston Churchill, in September 2019, and was installed in the room opposite the room where Churchill was born. This was the first exhibition of Cattelan’s art in the UK in 20 years.
However, it was stolen within two days of the exhibition. In order to remove the toilet, the suspect also damaged the main pipe of the bathroom system, causing flooding in the house. This UNESCO-listed building was The 18th-century mansion, listed as a World Heritage site, was severely damaged.
Artist hopes the theft is a hoax
Cattelan said after the theft that he hoped the theft was a prank, asking: “Who’s so stupid as to steal a toilet?”
Churchill’s half-brother Edward Spencer-Churchill, founder of the Blenheim Arts Foundation, told the media before the display that the toilet “wouldn’t be the easiest thing to vandalize.” “First of all, it’s already in use and secondly, potential thieves won’t know who last used the toilet or what they ate. So I’m not going to guard it,” he stressed.
Dominic Hare, chief executive of Blenheim Palace, said after the incident that he hoped the “senseless” theft would immortalize the work. Elite items offered to everyone were “immediately snatched away and hidden from view,” he added. This is a huge irony for a work that “portrays the American Dream.”
The stolen gold toilet has not been found so far. Investigators are wondering whether this valuable toilet still exists. It is very likely that it has been melted into gold. The British Crown Prosecution Service stated that the four male burglary suspects will be charged with home invasion and burglary, transfer of criminal property, and other crimes.
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