A solid 18-carat gold toilet, worth £5 million has been stolen from Britain’s Blenheim Palace in Woodstock, Oxfordshire, England.
The toilet titled ‘America’ was created in 2016 by Italian artist Maurizio Cattelan and installed at the palace as part of a new exhibition at the Oxfordshire palace, the birthplace of former Prime Minister Winston Churchill in November 1874.
The toilet was previously on display in a cubicle at New York’s Guggenheim Museum, where more than 100,000 visitors were able to use it.
Blenheim Palace said it was saddened by the loss of the “precious” artwork, which it said and that the rest of the exhibition would reopen on Sunday.
Thames Valley Police have said, the toilet was stolen with at least two vehicles broke into the palace, the birthplace of World War Two leader Winston Churchill, and removed the toilet some time before 5 a.m.
A 66-year-old man has been arrested in connection with the theft and remains in police custody. Thames Valley Police said.
Detective Inspector Jess Milne said: ‘Due to the toilet being plumbed in to the building, this has caused significant damage and flooding.’
Detective Inspector Milne added: ‘We believe a group offenders used at least two vehicles during the offence.
‘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.
Blenheim Palace chief executive Dominic Hare has urged anyone with any information to contact police.
He said: ‘We are saddened by this extraordinary event, but also relieved no-one was hurt.
‘We are very grateful to our staff and to Thames Valley Police for their rapid and brave reactions.
‘We knew there was huge interest in the Maurizio Cattelan contemporary art exhibition, with many set to come and enjoy the installations.’
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.
‘If anyone knows or saw anything suspicious in connection with the event that may help us secure its return please contact Thames Valley Police on 101, quoting URN 273 (14/9), visit our website or visit a police station.’