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The artist who created the £4million 18-karat gold toilet stolen from Blenheim Palace has denied that he orchestrated its theft in a Banksy-style PR stunt.
The golden toilet, entitled 'America', was taken from the stately Oxfordshire home in the early hours of Saturday, leaving Italian artist Maurizio Cattelan and Blenheim bosses devastated and the bathroom in tatters.
Cattelan - Prankster - Theft - Attempt - Publicity
Now, Cattelan, a serial prankster, has denied arranging the theft in attempt to drum up publicity.
He said: 'I wish it was a prank. Who's so stupid to steal a toilet? America was the one per cent for the 99 per cent, and I hope it still is. I want to be positive and think the robbery is a kind of Robin Hood-inspired action.'
Toilet - Blenheim - Visitors - Exhibition - Cattelan
The toilet had been installed at Blenheim for visitors to use after an exhibition by Cattelan opened there on Friday.
The sculpture was the centre piece of the show.
Cattelan - Sculptures - Toilet - Palace - Birthplace
Cattelan, known for his provocative sculptures, arranged for the toilet to be moved to the palace, which is also the birthplace of Sir Winston Churchill, in the same way he did at the Guggenheim Museum in New York in 2016, when 100,000 people queued to use it.
He has faced accusations of arranging for the toilet to be stolen in a PR stunt, drawing parallels to Banksy's infamous shredding of his iconic painting Girl With Balloon last year.
Chief - Executive - Dominic - Hare - Pointless
Chief executive Dominic Hare said he hopes the 'stupid and pointless' act of stealing the toilet will 'immortalise' the work of the artist - as he defended the stately home's 'sophisticated security system' and insisted it was insured.
He added: 'When you show the finest art to everyone, to the audience it was made for, you take a risk. Almost always that risk is worth taking. We say that even today.
Hope - Hope
'We hope against hope that...
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