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Gold toilet stolen from British palace

September 14, 2019

A gang has stolen a solid gold, fully functional toilet from an art exhibit at Britain's Blenheim Palace. The artwork, dubbed America, was once offered on loan to US President Donald Trump.

SA Guggenheim Museum - Toilette America aus Gold von Maurizio Cattelan
Image: Getty Images/AFP/W. Edwards

Robbers on early Saturday morning stole an 18-carat gold toilet from an art exhibit at Britain's Blenheim Palace, police said.

"The piece of art that has been stolen is a high-value toilet made out of gold that was on display at the palace," said Thames Valley Police detective Jess Milne.

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The working toilet created by Italian artist Maurizio Cattelan, named America, was once offered on loan to US President Donald Trump.

Police said that because the toilet was fully plumbed into the building, there was "significant damage and flooding."

A 66-year-old man has been arrested in connection with the crime. Police are searching for others from what is believed to be a gang that used at least two vehicles during the heist.

The artwork has not been recovered.

Practical artwork

The exhibit at Blenheim Palace opened on Thursday and runs until October 27. It presents Cattelan's artworks throughout the palace interiors, "engaging with the site's recent history and unique setting," according to the palace website. 

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Visitors were even given three minutes to relieve themselves on the solid gold toilet.

Blenheim Palace, some 10 km (6 miles) northwest of the southern university city of Oxford, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and home to the 12th Duke of Marlborough and his family. It was also the birthplace of British wartime leader Winston Churchill.

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