An Unsolved Case of the Golden Toilet Bandit


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WOODSTOCK, ENGLAND – SEPTEMBER 12: “America”, a fully-working solid gold toilet, created by artist Maurizio Cattelan, is seen at Blenheim Palace on September 12, 2019 in Woodstock, England. The Italian artist is known as the prankster of the art world. His most notable piece being “America” a solid gold usable toilet which had art lovers queuing to use when it was shown at the Guggenheim Museum in New York. (Photo by Leon Neal/Getty Images)

On Saturday, Sep. 7, the solid 18-karat gold toilet, “America” by Maurizio Cattelan, was stolen from Blenheim Palace, Oxfordshire, UK. The golden toilet was part of a larger exhibit at the childhood home of Winston Churchill that features Mr. Cattelan’s work. The piece is worth approximately 5.5 million dollars, so there was extreme distress caused by this robbery for a toilet that looks like Squilliam Fancyson’s. Mr. Cattelan wrote to the New York Times expressing his confusion and agitation, for the toilet has yet to be found. However, a 66-year-old man had been arrested, but no charges have been filed against him.

“I thought it was a prank: Who’s so stupid to steal a toilet? I had forgotten for a second that it was made out of gold.”


“That is a very, very valuable toilet,” Mr. Pienta, a metal specialist, said. “If they had a refinery or gold smelting equipment ready, it could be melted into gold bars in days and there would be no way to trace them. They could really go into any place that would buy a bullion.”


Hopefully, the golden throne will be returned; however, the logistics of its homecoming are unknown.