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Huge reward offered for gold toilet stolen from Blenheim Palace

Discussion in 'Crimes' started by KareBear, Oct 10, 2019.

  1. KareBear

    KareBear Well-Known Member

    Huge reward offered for gold toilet stolen from Blenheim Palace
    Published 3rd October 2019
    Written by Jack Guy, CNN
    A reward of up to £100,000 ($124,000) has been offered for the return of a solid gold toilet stolen from a UK stately home, as police release CCTV images of a vehicle they believe was involved in the September theft.
    The fully functioning toilet is a piece of art made entirely from 18-carat-gold that was installed in Blenheim Palace, in Oxfordshire, England, as part of an exhibition by Italian artist Maurizio Cattelan titled "Victory is Not an Option," which opened to the public on September 12.
    Former UK prime minister Winston Churchill was born at Blenheim Palace, which is now a tourist attraction.
    Philip Austin from Fine Art Specie Adjusters (FASA), the palace's insurance company, told CNN that a reward of up to £100,000 would be paid if specific conditions are met.
    Credit: Jacopo Zotti/MENOMENOPIU ARCHITECTS/Maurizio Cattelan Archive
    First the item must be safely returned, and second there must have been an arrest as part of the investigation.
    "We have to be very careful that we don't pay the villains," he said.
    Thames Valley Police say the navy blue Volkswagen Golf R has not been found, according to a statement released Wednesday. They believe it had cloned plates at the time of the theft, which was reported at 4:57 AM on September 14.
    Police said a 66-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of burglary before being released on bail, and a 35-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of conspiracy to burgle and has been released under investigation.
    They have previously referred to a "group of offenders" being behind the theft of the toilet, which has yet to be recovered.
    Police are looking for a navy blue Volkkswagen Golf R as part of their search for the stolen artwork. Credit: thames valley police
    Police believe the thieves used at least two vehicles during the theft. No injuries were reported as a result of the offense.
    "I would like to appeal to anyone who was in Woodstock at the time of the burglary that may recognize this vehicle to get in touch with police," said investigating officer Detective Inspector Steven Jones.
    "The stolen artwork has not been recovered, but officers are working to retrieve it. Anyone who has any information regarding its whereabouts is asked to get in touch with police."

    "The artwork, which is named "America," is valued at around $6 million, according to Dominic Hare, CEO of Blenheim Palace."

    Speaking as an American, I find that last part (snippet) to be hilarious! :funny:

    To continue reading, go to:
    kdg411, spike, Kimster and 1 other person like this.
  2. Kimster

    Kimster Director Staff Member

    A golden toilet? Well for crying out loud, no wonder it was stolen.
    kdg411, KareBear and spike like this.
  3. spike

    spike Bronze Member

    How did they ever lift it?
    Must have been a few people.
    So heavy.
    Kimster, kdg411 and KareBear like this.
  4. KareBear

    KareBear Well-Known Member

    DE-THRONED: Blenheim Palace lavatory where £4m gold toilet was ripped out by thieves in dead of night is pictured - as stately home boss defends security systems and hopes theft will 'immortalise the artist'
    By Faith Ridler For Mailonline and Nick Craven and Peter Henn For The Mail On Sunday15:45 15 Sep 2019, updated 17:00 15 Sep 2019


    "Chief executive Dominic Hare said he hopes the 'stupid and pointless' act of stealing the toilet will 'immortalise' the work of the artist - as he defended the stately home's 'sophisticated security system' and insisted it was insured.

    He added: 'When you show the finest art to everyone, to the audience it was made for, you take a risk. Almost always that risk is worth taking. We say that even today.

    'We hope against hope that we can recover this precious work of art. It is deeply ironic that a work of art portraying the
    American Dream and the idea of an elite object made available to all should be almost instantly snatched away and hidden from view.'

    Dominic Hare said a gang 'mounted a very fast smash-and-grab raid' on Blenheim Palace overnight, stealing a fully functional loo worth $5million

    Sources at the estate, near Woodstock, said the gang used a heavy vehicle, believed to be a 4x4, to break down a large metal gate on the estate and drive to the palace. Several broken window panes near the Great Court suggested one possible entry point, but police refused to comment.

    However, quite how thieves moved the hefty item remains a mystery. A palace source said there was a 'lot of consternation' about how they had been able to get inside and spend so long at their task.

    'There's a lot of serious art in the palace,' said the source, 'but these guys were clearly highly professional and knew what they were about.

    'They could have studied the palace on the internet, or as made as many visits as they needed to, familiarising themselves with the layout.

    'We can only assume they took the gold purely for its intrinsic value to be melted down, because a gold loo is not going to be easy to conceal for very long.'

    Blenheim Palace in Oxfordshire tweeted that the palace would be closed on Saturday 'due to an unforeseen incident' but it opened its gates on Sunday
    In what now seems a remarkable display of hubris, Lord Edward Spencer-Churchill last month said he had no plans to guard the valuable WC, which was part of an exhibition from the Italian 'prankster of the art world', Maurizio Cattelan.

    'It's not going to be the easiest thing to nick,' said the Duke of Marlborough's half-brother. 'Firstly it's plumbed in, and secondly a potential thief will have no idea who last used the toilet or what they ate. So no, I don't plan on guarding it.'

    The Cattelan exhibition – which also includes lifelike models of a praying Hitler and Pope John Paul II being hit by a meteorite – was launched with a glittering dinner on Friday night. It is believed to have been attended by the artist himself.

    Once open, visitors would have been able to book a three-minute slot to use the gold toilet as part of the £27 admission price. The piece, entitled America, was placed opposite the room where Churchill was born in 1874.


    The museum subsequently offered to lend it to the White House – rather than a Van Gogh Trump's staff originally asked for – but officials declined the offer.

    Speaking to the The Mail on Sunday last night, Mr Hare said: 'We are saddened by this extraordinary event, but also relieved no one was hurt and that nothing else was stolen.

    'This would have taken some planning. I'm not exactly sure how much the toilet weighs, but it's certainly a lot – two grown men would struggle to lift it.

    'Even apart from the artwork that was taken, which is worth around £4.8 million, there are many other valuable pieces, both in the exhibition and on display in the palace's own collection.


    However, he promised it would be 'business as usual' for visitors and the exhibition as the investigation continues.

    Detective Inspector Jess Milne, of Thames Valley Police, said on Saturday: 'The piece of art that has been stolen is a high-value toilet made out of gold that was on display at the palace.

    'Due to the toilet being plumbed in to the building, this has caused significant damage and flooding. We believe a group of offenders used at least two vehicles during the offence.'

    Detectives believe the gang left the estate just before 5am. Yesterday, the five-bar gate they smashed to enter the 120,000-acre estate was being guarded.

    Mr Hare added: 'We are very grateful to our staff and to Thames Valley Police for their rapid and brave reactions.

    'We knew there was huge interest in the Maurizio Cattelan contemporary art exhibition, with many set to come and enjoy the installations. But we still have so many fascinating treasures in the palace and the remaining items of the exhibition to share.'"

    Kimster likes this.
  5. Kimster

    Kimster Director Staff Member

    They still haven't found their toilet, huh?
    spike and KareBear like this.
  6. spike

    spike Bronze Member

    Totally melted down by now.

    Probably used to buy arms for Iran.
    KareBear likes this.
  7. KareBear

    KareBear Well-Known Member

    I think so too!
    Goodbye 'America' (the toilet):prez:
    spike likes this.

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