Up to seven people may soon be charged with stealing Maurizio Cattelan’s solid gold toilet which was removed from Blenheim Palace in Oxfordshire, UK, in 2019. According to a report in The Sun newspaper, there has been a breakthrough in the case after police sent a file to the UK Crown Prosecution Service (CPS), leading to possible charges against seven suspects.
Thames Valley Police told The Sun: “A number of individuals remain released under investigation in relation to this case. A file of evidence is with the CPS for a decision to be made on any charges.” Thames Valley Police were contacted for further comment.
Cattelan’s fully functioning 18-carat gold toilet (America, 2016) has not yet been recovered after it was stolen from an exhibition of the Italian artist's work at the 18th-century stately home in September 2019. The toilet is reportedly valued at £4.8m.
Visitors to the exhibition had to book time slots to use the toilet which was installed in the guides' bathrooms at the palace; the golden loo was previously on view at the Guggenheim Museum in New York.
Cattelan told The New York Times after the robbery, "America was the one percent for the 99 percent, and I hope it still is. I want to be positive and think the robbery is a kind of Robin Hood-inspired action. I wish it was a prank." He added that the toilet grab was “deadly serious if even a little bit surreal since the subject of the robbery was a toilet".