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 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.
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.”
“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,” Milne continued, appealing for any potential witnesses to contact police.
Dominic Hare, CEO of Blenheim Palace, told CNN in a statement, “‘Following the Thames Valley Police statement we can confirm ‘America’, the art piece by Maurizio Cattelan has been stolen in the early hours of this morning.”