Gold toilet theft: Blenheim Palace security 'needs challenging'

15 September 2019, 18:02

The toilet, said to be worth $5m to $6m was stolen.
The toilet, said to be worth $5m to $6m was stolen. Picture: PA

By Sylvia DeLuca

Blenheim Palace's security measures "need to be challenged" after an 18-carat gold toilet was stolen from the stately home, its chief executive said.

The artwork was ripped from a wood-panelled room at Blenheim Palace, the birthplace of Sir Winston Churchill, in the early hours of Saturday.

Chief Executive Officer at Blenheim Palace, Dominic Hare said a gang "mounted a very fast smash-and-grab raid" at the Oxfordshire palace

The creator of the toilet, reportedly worth £4.8 million, has denied orchestrating its theft in a Banksy-style prank.

Italian artist Maurizio Cattelan, who created the sculpture, named America, and who has a history of mischievous stunts, told the New York Times: "I wish it was a prank."

He said: "Who's so stupid to steal a toilet?

"I want to be positive and think the robbery is a kind of Robin Hood-inspired action."

The toilet was stolen from Blenheim Palace.
The toilet was stolen from Blenheim Palace. Picture: PA

Detective Inspector Jess Milne from Thames Valley Police said investigations are ongoing after the theft was reported to police at 4.57am on Saturday.

She said: "We are following a number of lines of enquiry 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."

A 66-year-old man was arrested in connection with the burglary and remains in police custody.