Solid Gold Toilet Worth $6 Million Stolen From Palace in United Kingdom
By R.J. Johnson - @rickerthewriter
September 15, 2019
A solid gold toilet worth more than $6 million was stolen from a palace in the United Kingdom and a 66-year-old man has been arrested in connection with the theft, authorities in the U.K. said Sunday.
The gold toilet, is actually known as an art piece created by Maurizio Cattelan called "America." It was set up in Blenheim Palace as part of of a functioning exhibition named, "Victory is Not an Option," in which people could use the fully-functioning solid gold toilet. The art exhibition was installed and opened on Thursday (Sept. 12), only two days before the theft was first reported.
Thames Valley Police say they received reports of a burglary at Blenheim Palace (which is also known as the birthplace of former Prime Minister, Sir Winston Churchill), at around 4:57 a.m. on Saturday. The suspects reportedly broke in the palace overnight and left the scene of the crime by 4:50 a.m.
"The piece of art that has been stolen is a high value toilet made out of gold that was on display at the palace," police wrote in a statement about the theft. "Due to the toilet being plumbed in to the building, this has caused significant damage and flooding."
Police say the suspects likely used at least two vehicles to remove the toilet and that they were conducting a "thorough investigation" to find the artwork and bring those responsible for the theft to justice. A 66-year-old man was arrested in connection with the theft, but police did not give any further details about the suspect's name, or charges he might be facing.
Blenheim Palace released a statement about the theft, writing that they were saddened by the theft, but were relieved to report that no one had been hurt.
"We knew there was huge interest in the Maurizio Cattelan contemporary art exhibition, with many set to come and enjoy the installations,” the statement from the palace said. "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."
The solid gold toilet was made entirely of 18-karat-gold and was worth around $6 million. It first went on display at the Guggenheim in New York City in 2016 and made headlines again when the White House asked to borrow a Van Gogh painting from the museum, but the institution instead offered the gold toilet. The White House turned it down.
The toilet was scheduled to be on display at the palace through Oct. 27.
Photo: Getty Images