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Thieves have stolen an 18-carat gold toilet from art exhibit at Winston Churchil’s birthplace


A gang of thieves got a royal flush.

A toilet made of solid 18-carat gold has been stolen from an art exhibition in Oxfordshire, England, in the early hours of Saturday, Thames Valley police have confirmed.

The fully functioning toilet, entitled “America,” is part of a solo show by the Italian artist Maurizio Catellan at Blenheim Palace, the birthplace of former U.K. Prime Minister Winston Churchill.

"The piece of art that has been stolen is a high-value toilet made out of gold that was on display at the palace," detective inspector Jess Milne said in a statement Saturday morning.

“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,” added Milne.

The theft left the palace, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, with “significant damage and flooding.”

An official statement released by Blenheim Palace thanked the police for their “rapid and brave reactions,” adding that “we are saddened by this extraordinary event, but also relieved no-one was hurt.”

The statement asked anybody who might have seen suspicious activity to report it to police.

A 66-year-old man has been arrested in connection with the incident, according to the BBC, but police are still searching for other crooks who copped the commode. “We believe a group of offenders used at least two vehicles during the offense,” Milne said.

In 2016 “America” was on display in a public restroom on the fifth floor of the Guggenheim Museum in New York for a year. The work is described by critics as a satire pointed at the excesses of wealth and obsession with grandeur in the U.S. and visitors are encouraged to use it.

For its U.K. display, 20 times per hour had been set by the curators for anybody who might need to use “America” to answer to nature calls.

In September 2017, responding to a request from the White House to borrow an art work for President and Melania Trump’s private living quarters the Guggenheim’s chief curator Nancy Spector famously denied the requested Van Gogh, “Landscape With Snow,” and offered “America,” instead.

“Fortuitously,” Spector wrote in an email, “America” was available after having been “installed in one of our public restrooms for all to use in a wonderful act of generosity.”

The White House didn’t accept the trade.