A second suspect was arrested over the theft of Maurizio Cattelan’s gold toilet.
Installation view of America (2016) by Maurizio Cattelan at Blenheim Palace. Photo by Tom Lindboe, courtesy of Blenheim Art Foundation.
A second suspect has been arrested in the hunt for the thieves who stole the solid gold toilet from Blenheim Palace on Saturday. The fully-functioning toilet, a sculpture titled America (2016), is part of a large show of works by Italian artist Maurizio Cattelan taking place at Blenheim Palace, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and the birthplace of Winston Churchill. A 66-year-old man was arrested the day of the theft and has since been released on bail. Now a 36-year-old man has been arrested in connection with the heist and released under investigation. The toilet itself has yet to be recovered.
In a statement provided to Artsy on Monday, Detective Inspector Jess Milne said:
We are still actively searching for the stolen piece of artwork and there will be a continued police presence in and around the palace while this search continues. We believe a group of people used at least two vehicles during the burglary, which was reported to Thames Valley Police at 4:57 a.m. on Saturday.
Blenheim's chief executive Dominic Hare told the BBC that this was the "first theft of this type in living memory" from the palace. The New York Timesconsulted a precious metals dealer who noted that, based on the weight of the work and the current value of gold, America could be melted down in a matter of days, leaving the thieves with untraceable gold bars worth upwards of $4 million. Investigative officer Steven Jones said in a statement that “our priority is to locate the stolen item.”