A certain king of thieves has acquired a new throne. No, we haven't traveled into a fantasy world where a thieves' guild crowns its own king of their sector of the criminal underworld. This is the real world and in this real world, this thief acquired another type of throne. Though silver has been used in jewelry for more than 6,000 years, this piece of thievery involved its posterior superior; a solid 18-karat gold toilet.
Burglaries are unfortunately commonplace, with 2.5 million occurring every year. However, burglaries that involve golden toilets are few and far between. This is especially true when the golden toilet in question is a piece of art worth around $6 million. Only weeks prior, these were the words issued concerning its security.
"It's not going to be the easiest thing to nick. 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," said Lord Edward Spencer-Churchill, brother of the Duke of Marlborough.
It doesn't take a literary savant to see the foreshadowing in this scenario. The piece of art in question is titled America by an Italian artist named Maurizio Cattelan, a character oft referred to as the court jester of the art world. The installation is a piece of participatory art and -- sparing the details of the participation thereof -- it's a fully functional toilet made of solid 18-karat gold. Having been on display in the Blenheim Palace in the UK (pictured top), the Guggenheim Museum loan was recently burgled. On September 14th, the Blenheim Palace issued a tweet:
**IMPORTANT NOTICE**— Blenheim Palace (@BlenheimPalace) September 14, 2019
Due to an unforeseen incident at the Palace we are closed until lunchtime, the Park will remain open.
Apologies for any inconvenience.
That unforeseen circumstance was, of course, the golden-toilet-art-installation being stolen from the Palace sometime in the night. While 35% of people wouldn't have discovered an establishment were it not for the sign, Winston Churchill's birthplace, complete with functional solid gold toilet, needed no advertising and could've benefited from better security.
"The piece of art that has been stolen is a high-value toilet made out of gold that was on display at the palace. The artwork has not been recovered at this time, but we are conducting a thorough investigation to find it and bring those responsible to justice," said Jess Milne of the Thames Valley Police.
This was mid-September and the valuable piece has still not been recovered. However, a couple of arrests have been made in connection to the burglary but the toilet evades authorities still. The AC Cobra was famous for reaching 186 MPH on British roads in 1962, but the most famous (and sought after) vehicle right now is the VW Golf that CCTV caught the burglars loading the toilet into before escaping. Police believe there may be another vehicle involved yet, but it remains unconfirmed as the search continues.
North America is the largest market for art only second to Europe. This doesn't bode well for the art piece, especially as more time passes with it unaccounted for. Of course, any sale of such an item as a work of art would be easy to detect due to its uniqueness. But, solid gold is solid gold and worth a great deal whether it's toilet shaped or not. Thus, the insurance company for the Blenheim Palace issued a substantial reward attached to the toilet:
"The reward is up to 100,000 Pounds Sterling and terms are by approval of the insurance company, which includes the safe return leading to an arrest."
“Who’s so stupid to steal a toilet? America was the 1% for the 99%, and I hope it still is. I want to be positive and think the robbery is a kind of Robin Hood-inspired action..."— Blenheim Palace (@BlenheimPalace) September 16, 2019
- Maurizio Cattelan#RIPgoldtoilethttps://t.co/Ol7x6CfGjF pic.twitter.com/4QLBuCbgZN
The hunt continues and the creator Cattelan is in disbelief. Significant buzz has surrounded his piece ever since it was offered to the White House when Donald Trump was elected President in 2016. But, despite the satirical nature of the installation and the artistic voice of the creator, he's saddened by its theft. Though, the attitude in his words might deceive you:
"When this morning I was informed about the robbery I thought it was a prank and it took me a while, after a few checks, to come to the conclusion that it was true and it wasn't a surreal movie where instead of the jewels of the crown, the thieves went away with a bloody toilet. I always liked heist movies and finally, I'm in one of them. Dear thieves, please, if you are reading this, let me know how much you like the piece and how it feels to pee on gold," Cattelan said in a statement after hearing his installation had truly been blagged.
The search is ongoing, but once the golden toilet is recovered, we're certain its security will no longer be number two on their list.
Beloved author J.K. Rowling may be best known for her books about wizards, but it seems like her former assistant had mastered some magical powers of her own -- namely, the ability to "accio" her boss's money into her own pocket without being detected.
Fast food restaurants may not be seen as inherently romantic, but one popular chain continues to prove it's got a place in the wedding industry. In fact, it's convinced a lot of couples to say "yo quiero" in addition to "I do."
Last February, Taco Bell announced that it would offer the option of hosting weddings at its Las Vegas flagship Cantina location. At the time, it seemed more like a kooky marketing stunt to promote the two-story store on the Strip, complete with alcoholic drinks and themed merchandise. But it now looks like couples actually want to tie the knot there. Although 33% of weddings take place in a religious institution, Taco Bell might as well be a house of worship for many young people. In fact, the Las Vegas Cantina location has welcomed 60 couples to make their partnerships official in the last year. Throughout 2017, the restaurant hosted an average of more than one wedding per week. They've got another 25 in the works already over the next year. One couple traveled all the way from China just to be married at the Cantina.
Let's talk about cars. Do you remember your first car? A lot of people's first cars are by no means glamorous, but at that age, we're just thankful to have something to call our own that gets from point A to point B. On average, passenger cars on the road are 11.6 years old. In the car world, that's a long time, especially when new models come out every year.
As prophesied last July, Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un have come together in Singapore for a historic meeting - the first between a North Korean Dictator Leader and a sitting U.S. dictator-wannabe President. The Trump-Kim Summit took place earlier today, and in a shocking twist, the duo recruited Dennis Rodman Mike Tyson to become the NUCLEAR POWER TRIO. Believe me, even though the band says "It's a song to promote world peace!" it is not the weirdest thing you'll see today, but I have that too.
Who was "the Kanye West of clowning?" That's just one of the questions answered in the first episode of PBS Digital Studios' Origin of Everything - The True Origin of Killer Clowns. With a modern reimagining of Stephen King's IT scaring up big box office, Yale Doctoral Candidate, Danielle Bainbridge looks beyond Pennywise and back through a rich history of clowning that's served up legendary scares from Killer Clowns from Outer Space to American Horror Story and Bozo's Circus. Okay, maybe not Bozo, but Cookie and Wizzo always seemed "off" to me.