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Solid Gold Toilet Stolen From Winston Churchill’s Family Palace

September 16, 2019 in History

By Becky Little

Someone is out there with a golden toilet that doesn’t belong to them.

The 18-karat-gold toilet disappeared from Blenheim Palace, the birthplace of Winston Churchill, on September 14—only two days after the palace installed it as part of an art exhibition by Italian artist Maurizio Cattelan. The solid gold toilet has been valued at around $6 million. And because it is fully-functioning, the early morning theft caused damage and flooding to the historic palace.

The room in which the toilet sat was right next to the room where future prime minister Churchill was born on November 30, 1874. Churchill’s nanny raised him at the Oxfordshire palace in the years before he went away to boarding school, and the palace was also the home he returned to on school holidays. At age 33, he proposed to 23-year-old Clementine Hozier in the Temple of Diana summerhouse in the palace gardens.

“At Blenheim I took two very important decisions: to be born and to marry,” Churchill reportedly said of the estate. “I am content with the decision I took on both occasions.”

After hearing about the toilet theft at Blenheim Palace, Cattelan joked in a statement that the robbers are the “the real artists” for pulling off such a stealthy heist of his artwork, titled America. “From the speed the robbery was executed we can say for sure they are great performers,” he said. He also made a request: “Dear thieves, please, if you are reading this, let me know how much you like the piece and how it feels to pee on gold.”

READ MORE: 10 Famous Art Heists

“America”, a fully-working solid gold toilet, created by artist Maurizio Cattelan, is seen at Blenheim Palace on September 12, 2019 in Woodstock, England.

Churchill may not have grown up knowing how that felt, but he was nonetheless born into extreme opulence and political power. Blenheim Palace is the ancestral home of the dukes and duchesses of Marlborough, of which Churchill was a direct descendant (his paternal grandfather was the seventh duke of Marlborough). By the time Churchill was born, his family was already an established part of the ruling aristocratic class.

The palace was a gift from Queen Anne to Sarah Churchill, first duchess of Marlborough and one of the queen’s closest political advisors, after the duchess’ husband led the English to victory in the 1704 Battle of …read more

Source: HISTORY

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