Artist Denies Gold Toilet Theft Was A Publicity Stunt As Police Share Blenheim Caper Details

Blenheim Palace Hosts Artist Maurizio Cattelan's First Solo UK Exhibition
Leon Neal / Getty Images

New questions are being asked about the theft of the solid gold toilet created by Italian artist Maurizio Cattelan as an art installation called “America.” The $4 million objet d’art was taken from Blenheim Palace early on Saturday morning and now Cattelan is being asked if he was behind the heist as a publicity stunt.

The Thames Valley Police announced that on Saturday morning, the 18k gold toilet was ripped from the plumbing at Blenheim Palace in Oxfordshire, the birthplace of famed British PM, Winston Churchill, causing structural and water damage to the stately home. The Daily Mail is now sharing that Cattelan, who is known as a prankster, is responding to the suggestion that he might be behind the theft of the heavily insured piece of art.

“I wish it was a prank. Who’s so stupid to steal a toilet? America was the one per cent for the 99 per cent, and I hope it still is. I want to be positive and think the robbery is a kind of Robin Hood-inspired action.”

The piece was installed as the focus of the exhibition which allowed people to queue up to use the golden facilities. It was previously on display at the Guggenheim Museum in New York where 100,000 people stood in line to use it.

Blenheim Palace chief executive Dominic Hare is defending the property’s security system, calling it state of the art.

Hare stated that police responded quickly, but not before the gang took off stealing the “fully functional loo.”

“In the early hours police were called to the stately home and found the solid gold toilet gone and water gushing over the floor, causing extensive damage.”

Blenheim Palace has not had a theft like this in recent memory, according to Hare. Sources at the estate, west of London say that the gang used a truck or van to breakdown a large metal gate on the estate and drive to the palace. Several windows were broken adjacent to the Great Court which suggested the point of entry to the police.

On the day of the theft, The Inquisitr revealed that even though the police reaction was swift, the men got away with the golden toilet. Blenheim Palace, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, was closed on Saturday, but the grounds and garden remained open to visitors.

Police confirmed that one 66-year-old man is in custody but they haven’t said how he is involved in the robbery and if they have identified the others who reportedly pulled off the heist.