A newly installed £1 million (approximately $1.25 million) 18-carat golden toilet has been stolen from Blenheim Palace, England.
The golden john, which went on public display at the ancestral home of Winston Churchill on Thursday, was stolen at around 4:50 a.m. on Saturday after burglars broke into the Palace overnight, causing “significant damage and flooding,” according to the Thames Valley Police.
While detectives have arrested a 66-year-old man in connection with the theft, they have yet to locate the golden toilet itself.
“We believe a group of offenders used at least two vehicles during the offense,” Detective Inspector Jess Milne, said in a statement. “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. Residents will see an increased police presence in the area while officers and staff carry out inquiries. I am appealing to anyone who saw or heard anything suspicious in the area to contact the police.”
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The golden toilet made by Italian satirical sculptor Maurizio Cattelan was unveiled Thursday as the star attraction in an exhibition called “America” at the Palace — the location of a 2018 gala dinner in honor of President Donald Trump.
First displayed at New York’s Guggenheim museum in 2016, it was also offered to Trump in 2017 on loan after he asked the museum to lend him an 1888 Van Gogh painting.
To view the toilet, Blenheim visitors needed to book in advance and were strictly limited to three minutes of viewing.
“We are saddened by this extraordinary event, but also relieved no-one was hurt,” reads a statement from Blenheim Palace. “We are very grateful to our staff and to Thames Valley Police for their rapid and brave reactions.”
The statement concluded, “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.