Au my bog: Bloke, 66, on bail after 'solid-gold' crapper called 'America' stolen from stately home

Creator denies it's a prank

Blenheim Palace was forced to close its doors on Saturday following the theft of a solid-gold loo – a piece of art called "America".

The crapper was lifted from Winston Churchill's Oxfordshire birthplace early on Saturday morning and the theft was reported to police just before 5am.

Detective Inspector Jess Milne said: "We are following a number of lines of inquiry and there will continue to be a police presence in and around the area of Blenheim Palace while our investigations continue.

"We are making every effort to locate the offenders and the toilet that was stolen."

Police said a gang of thieves using two vehicles broke into the palace and pinched the lav.

Some have fingered the throne's maker – artist Maurizio Cattelan, who has a reputation as a prankster – for the disappearance. He reportedly stole another artist's work and claimed it as his own for a 1996 exhibition in Amsterdam. Some also doubt he is being entirely truthful when describing the loo as solid gold.

He denied he was responsible or that the theft was a prank, but told the New York Times he hoped it was a Robin Hood-inspired action.

The fully functioning flusher was previously exhibited at the Guggenheim in New York, where it was used by thousands of visitors. According to The Washington Post (big ol' paywall), it was offered as a loan to President Trump to use in the White House.

A 66-year-old man arrested in connection with the robbery has now been released on police bail. ®

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