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Blenheim Palace to get new throne with 18-carat public toilet

05 May 2019, 15:59

NTV Online
Visitors will be able to use the toilet. Photo: Collected

England: A toilet made entirely out of gold and which is fully operational will be installed in one of the UK’s most prominent country houses. The 18-carat artwork, by Italian artist Maurizio Cattalan, will this autumn be plumbed into Blenheim Palace, Oxfordshire.

It will be placed in a room opposite to the one in which former prime minister Winston Churchill was born. Visitors of the World Heritage Site will not only be able to admire the stately toilet, named America, but also use it.

The 2016 artwork made headlines last year when the Guggenheim museum offered it to US President Donald Trump in place of a fragile Van Gogh painting he had asked to hang in the White House, reports the metro.co.uk.

The Marlborough family has been frequenting the Palace for 300 years, but the toilet will be an upgrade for them too. Edward Spencer-Churchill, the current Duke of Marlborough’s half-brother and founder of the Blenheim Art Foundation, told the Guardian: ‘Despite being born with a silver spoon in my mouth, I have never had a s***on a golden toilet. ‘It will be an installed, working, usable toilet.’ He said security would be strengthened but whether there will be a queue system or bookable slots is yet to be decided.

Referring to the question of how much time people will be able to spend in the toilet, he said: ‘I’m not sure I can answer that question yet. ‘We’d like people to enjoy their time in there without giving them too much time, if that makes sense.’

America will be showcased as part of an exhibition by Cattelan which follows on previous ones held at Blenheim by artists including Ai Weiwei, Lawrence Weiner, Michelangelo Pistoletto, Jenny Holzer and Yves Klein. Some 100,000 visitors are believed to have communed with the gold toilet since it went on display at New York’s Guggenheim.