We have come across multiple heist movies and scenarios in real life but have we never come across a theft of a TOILET. Yes, you heard it right! Apparently, Blenheim Palace has just observed one of the world’s most unique heists of all times. Valued at $6m (£4.8m), the gold toilet has not been found since Saturday’s early-morning raid at Blenheim – the home of the Duke of Marlborough.
The theft went viral and made noise of “a heist movie” as stated by the home’s chief executive. Dominic Hare claims that the artist Maurizio Cattelan was “mortified” by the theft from the stately home in Oxfordshire.
On investigation, a 66-year-old man who was arrested on Saturday has been released on bail.
Mr Hare told BBC Radio: “You always take a risk in showing art. The safest thing to do with art, I suppose, is to put it in a strongroom and lock the door. We think that risk is worth taking.”
The fully working toilet – entitled America – went on show at the 18th Century palace on Thursday as part of an exhibition by the Italian artist. Visitors had been invited to book three-minute slots to use the throne for its intended purpose.
Police believe a gang of thieves using at least two vehicles was responsible for the theft. In an email to the New York Times, Cattelan said: “‘America’ was the 1% for the 99%, and I hope it still is. I want to be positive and think the robbery is a kind of Robin Hood-inspired action. I promise I have an alibi for the night.”
Last month Edward Spencer-Churchill – half-brother of the Duke of Marlborough – said the toilet would not “be the easiest thing to nick”. The burglary caused “significant damage and flooding” because the toilet was plumbed into the building, police said.
Mr Hare said it was the “first theft of this type in living memory” from the stately home – the birthplace of Sir Winston Churchill – adding it had “a sophisticated security system”.
“But the truth is, this has happened and we are now challenged to look hard at ourselves and improve again,” he said.