Gold toilet stolen in Blenheim Palace burglary


An 18-carat solid gold toilet has been stolen in a burglary overnight at Blenheim Palace.

A gang broke into the Oxfordshire palace at about 04:50 BST and stole the artwork, Thames Valley Police said.

The working toilet – entitled America, which visitors had been invited to use – has not been found but a 66-year-old man has been arrested.

The burglary caused “significant damage and flooding” because the toilet was plumbed into the building, police said.

It was part of an exhibition by Italian conceptual artist Maurizio Cattelan that opened on Thursday.

The 18th Century stately home is a World Heritage Site and the birthplace of Sir Winston Churchill. It is currently closed while investigations continue.

Speaking last month, Edward Spencer-Churchill – half-brother of the current Duke of Marlborough – said he was relaxed about security for the artwork.

“It’s not going to be the easiest thing to nick,” he said.

North Steps at Blenheim PalaceImage copyrightJOHN LAWRENCE
Image captionBlenheim Palace is currently closed to the public while police investigate

Visitors to the exhibition were free to use the palace’s throne for its intended purpose, with a three-minute time limit to avoid queues.


Det Insp Jess Milne, 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.

“We believe a group of offenders used at least two vehicles during the offence.

“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.”

In a tweet, Blenheim Palace said it would remain shut for the rest of the day, but would reopen on Sunday.

Palace chief executive Dominic Hare said they were “saddened by this extraordinary event, but also relieved no-one was hurt”.

“We hope that the wonderful work of our dear friend Maurizio Cattelan becomes immortalised by this stupid and pointless act,” he added.

The gold toilet was famously offered to US President Donald Trump in 2017.

The arrested man is in police custody.


  1. In the olden days , amhara elites and thier emperors had this kind of plate , toilet, to keep thier residue out of the sight of ….thier kids

    since they believe that not only thier buttock but also thier residue should be lie down on the golden tube like this.

  2. Emperor Haile-Selassie I’s mother was paternally of Oromo descent and maternally of Gurage heritage, while his father was paternally Oromo and maternally Amhara. So you can say Hailesselasie was more Oromo 50% Oromo , 25% Gurage and 25% AMARA, the Emperor of Ethiopia from 1930 to 1974 was mostly Oromo.

    Mengistu Hailemariam’s father, Haile Mariam Wolde Ayana was an ethnic Amhara Mengistu’s mother, an ethnic Konso He was in power 1974 to 1991 for 17 years . So you can say Mengistu is half Amara 50% and half 50% konso ,Mengistu claims to be Amara only since he was born in Amara area.
    The Oromo emperor of Ethiopia from 1930 to 1974 the grandfather of the PRINCE ERMIYAS , EMPERROR HAILE MEKONNEN SELASSIE would expect his grandson the Prince Ermiyas along with the Crown Council to take a stand in regards to the recent killings and mass arrest of Oromos by the Amara leader Hailemariam Desalegn, unless the prince’s silence is a stand by itself since silence speaks louder than words .

    Meles Zenawi Asres (Ge’ez: መለስ ዜናዊ አስረስ mäläs zenawi asräs 9 May 1955 – 20 August 2012, born Legesse Zenawi Asres)[2] was the Prime Minister of Ethiopia from 1995 until his death in 2012 same as Mengistu hailemariam for 17 years ,he was 50% Tigrayan and 50% Eritrean
    Hailemariam Desalegn was born in 1965 in the Boloso Sore District of the . Hailemariam Desalegn father was Wolaita and mother is ethnic Konso same as mengistu Hailemariam’s mother . Hailemariam was born in 1965 in the Boloso Sore District of the Wolayita Zone .

    PM Colonel Dr Abiy, Ahmed a Protestant Christian and former rebel fighter also former Muslim, is both Oromo 50% and Amhara 50% .

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