A solid gold toilet worth millions of pounds has been stolen from a stately home.
The toilet was part of an art installation at Blenheim Palace – the Oxfordshire birthplace of Winston Churchill.
The 18-carat artwork “America” by Maurizio Cattelan, was ripped from its display – flooding the room.
A 66-year-old man has been arrested in connection with the theft.
The toilet, said to be worth £5 million, has not been recovered.
Now, it’s feared it’ll be melted down by the thieves.
Detective Inspector Jess Milne of Thames Valley Police said:
“The piece of art that has been stolen is a high value toilet made out of gold that was on display at the palace.
“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.”
The toilet had been plumbed in and visitors could use it.
Blenheim Palace chief executive Dominic Hare said:
“Following the Thames Valley Police statement we can confirm ‘America’, the art piece by has been stolen in the early hours of this morning.
“We are saddened by this extraordinary event, but also relieved no-one was hurt.
“We knew there was huge interest in the Maurizio Cattelan contemporary art exhibition, with many set to come and enjoy the installations.
“It’s therefore a great shame an item so precious has been taken, but we still have so many fascinating treasures in the palace and the remaining items of the exhibition to share.
“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.”
Only last month the Duke of Marlborough’s half-brother Edward Spencer-Churchill opined the toilet wouldn’t be the “easiest thing to nick”.
He told the Times: “”Firstly, it’s plumbed in and secondly, a potential thief will have no idea who last used the toilet or what they ate.
“So no, I don’t plan to be guarding it.”