Yes, British police are on the hunt for an 18-carat gold toilet stolen from Winston Churchill’s birthplace.
Reports of a burglary at Blenheim Palace in Woodstock, Oxfordshire, where the toilet was on display as part of a contemporary art exhibition.
Jess Milne of Thames Valley 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.
“The artwork has not been recovered at this time, but we are conducting a thorough investigation to find it and bring those responsible to justice.”
According to The Guardian,
The burglary has left the palace with significant damage and flooding. The toilet, designed by the Italian artist Maurizio Cattelan, had been plumbed in and was available for visitors to use.
The golden lavatory, named ‘America’, drew large crowds when it was exhibited in New York. It had been installed in a wood-panelled chamber opposite the room where Churchill was born.
Edward Spencer-Churchill, founder of the Blenheim Art Foundation, said last month that the potty wouldn’t be
“the easiest thing to nick”.
“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.”
The palace’s chief executive, Dominic Hare said,
“Following the Thames Valley police statement we can confirm ‘America’, the art piece by Maurizio Cattelan, has been stolen in the early hours of this morning.
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 gold toilet was shown at the Guggenheim Museum in New York three years ago from September 15, 2016–September 15, 2017.
Visitors to the palace were given three minutes to test out the golden throne. The Guardian‘s art critic Jonathan Jones has described it as
“much like peeing on porcelain… but here, among all the photos of young Winston, it also feels like pissing on British history”.
Insert Trump/pee joke here.
(Photo, courtesy Maurizio Cattelan; via The Guardian)