Maurizio Cattelan gold toilet set for Blenheim Palace appearance

Gold toilet by Maurizio Cattelan Image copyright AFP/Getty Images
Image caption The fully functioning solid gold throne is set to be installed at the 18th Century palace in September

A toilet made from 18-carat gold will be plumbed in at Blenheim Palace this autumn - and visitors will be free to use it.

The toilet, created by Italian contemporary artist Maurizio Cattelan, will go on display at the Oxfordshire stately home in September.

It is still uncertain whether visitors to the palace who want use the loo will have to queue or book a slot.

The toilet made headlines in 2017 when it was offered to Donald Trump.

The US president had initially asked the Guggenheim Museum in New York, where the toilet has been since its creation in 2016, for an 1888 Van Gogh painting.

But the Guggenheim rejected the loan request by the White House and offered Cattelan's masterpiece, named America, instead.

The gold toilet will be placed in a room opposite the one where Winston Churchill was born.

'Daring artist'

Lord Edward Spencer-Churchill, founder of the Blenheim Art Foundation, said he was "delighted" to welcome Cattelan's work to the 18th Century palace.

"Maurizio Cattelan is one of the most singular and daring artists working today," he said.

"We are delighted to welcome his work at Blenheim in the expectation that it will stimulate debate, conversation and expand our minds."

Asked by The Guardian how long people would be able to spend in the toilet, the aristocrat said: "I'm not sure I can answer that question yet.

"We'd like people to enjoy their time in there without giving them too much time, if that makes sense."

Cattelan is the sixth artist to have a solo exhibition at the palace, which has already featured works by Ai Weiwei, Lawrence Weiner, Michelangelo Pistoletto, Jenny Holzer and Yves Klein.

The Italian's artwork will be on display from 12 September to 27 October.

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