The toilet, named “America”, is valued at more than $5 million and was part of an exhibition of work by Italian conceptual artist Maurizio Cattelan which opened two days ago at the stately home 60 miles west of London.
Thieves with at least two vehicles broke into the palace, the birthplace of World War Two leader Winston Churchill, and removed the toilet some time before 5 a.m. (0400 GMT), causing significant damage and flooding, Thames Valley Police said. Officers arrested a 66-year-old man in connection with the theft, but had not recovered the artwork.
Blenheim Palace said on Twitter it was saddened by the loss of the “precious” artwork, which it said and that the rest of the exhibition would reopen on Sunday (September 15).
The toilet was previously on display in a cubicle at New York’s Guggenheim Museum, where more than 100,000 visitors were able to use it. At the time, the Washington Post reported that President Donald Trump turned down an offer from the museum to temporarily install the toilet for his personal use in the White House.
(Production: Lucy Marks)