Attractions industry news

09 May 2019

Golden toilet among Cattelan exhibits set for Blenheim Palace

An exhibition of the work of Italian contemporary artist Maurizio Cattelan at Blenheim Palace, Oxfordshire, UK, is to include the installation of a working 18-carat solid gold toilet.

The toilet – an artwork named America – will be fully functioning and will be plumbed in near to the room where Winston Churchill was born in 1874.

Blenheim Palace is the ancestral home of the Dukes of Marlborough, dating back to the 1700s when it was built and named after the 1704 Battle of Blenheim, won by John Churchill, 1st Duke of Marlborough. The palace, which has its own art foundation, has previously hosted successful art shows by Ai Weiwei, Lawrence Weiner, Michelangelo Pistoletto, Jenny Holzer and Yves Klein.

Cattelan's golden toilet exhibit was previously on display at the Guggenheim Museum in New York in 2016, where an estimated 100,000 people "used" the artwork, sometimes queueing for two hours for the privilege. The toilet was offered to Donald Trump's White House, after it requested to loan a Van Gogh from the Guggenheim for the president's living quarters, but the offer was never taken up.

Blenheim Palace has yet to announce whether a queueing system will be in place or whether visitors will be able to book slots on the toilet. The Maurizio Cattelan show will run from 12 September to 27 October this year. It will be Cattelan's first solo show in the UK for 20 years, and will include new works displayed for the first time.

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