(NationalUSNews.com) — Authorities from London charged four men with the theft of the working gold toilet, known as “America,” which they allegedly stole from the birthplace of renowned British historical figure Winston Churchill. The toilet’s creator, Maurizio Cattelan, created the functional golden appliance as a satirical representation of excessive wealth. The toilet is worth approximately $5.95 million, or just over 4.5 million pounds. The toilet’s disappearance made international headlines and prompted a lengthy investigation by English authorities to recover the art piece.
The investigation finally resulted in the arrest of four men connected to the theft, who now face charges of burglary and conspiracy to sell criminal goods. Following the heist, police arrested multiple people for the crime, but actual criminal charges failed to materialize until November 6, four years after the initial heist. Although numerous people face criminal charges for the heist, the golden toilet hasn’t reappeared.
The heist occurred at Blenheim Palace, the birthplace of Winston Churchill. The toilet functioned properly and was even connected to Blenheim Palace’s plumbing. Patrons could schedule a brief, three-minute appointment to use the toilet. When the toilet’s thieves removed the art piece from Blenheim Palace, the location’s plumbing suffered substantial damage due to the toilet’s connection with the rest of the building. The incident also caused heavy flooding in the area.
The toilet disappeared in September 2019, and any indication of what the thieves did with the artwork remains elusive. Authorities claim that the thieves likely melted the gold and used it for financial gain, and that the police will likely fail to recover the valuable art piece.
The accused thieves are set to appear in court on November 28 and may face additional charges for the property damage to Blenheim Palace if convicted for the heist. Details about the accused thieves remain scarce, but authorities reported that the four suspects are all men between the ages of 35 and 39. Although the ultimate fate of the toilet isn’t known, upon conviction, the thieves might disclose the toilet’s location or what happened to the renowned object.
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