Police are trying to recover a toilet made entirely from 18-carat-gold that was stolen Saturday morning from Blenheim Palace in Oxfordshire, England, the stately home where former UK prime minister Winston Churchill was born.
The fully functioning toilet was installed as part of an exhibition by Italian artist Maurizio Cattelan titled “Victory is Not an Option,” which only opened to the public on Thursday. The palace will be closed for the rest of the day, a spokesperson said on Twitter.
According to a Blenheim Palace spokesperson, Cattelan values the toilet, titled “America,” at over $5 million, The Guardian reported.
Thames Valley Police received a report of the toilet’s theft at 4:57 a.m. Saturday morning. The thieves left the scene at about 4:50 a.m., according to a statement posted online. A 66-year-old man has been arrested in connection with the theft.
Detective Inspector Jess Milne said in the statement: “Due to the toilet being plumbed in to the building, this has caused significant damage and flooding, adding, “We believe a group offenders used at least two vehicles during the offense.”
** UPDATE **
We can confirm there was an incident overnight which has led to Blenheim Palace being closed until 2pm today. We are working closely with Thames Valley Police and would direct any media enquiries to them at this stage.
— Blenheim Palace (@BlenheimPalace) September 14, 2019
At Blenheim Palace, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the toilet was installed in a room next to the one in which Churchill was born.