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Fun on Friday: What Ever Happened to that Stolen Toilet?

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Remember a couple of months ago when I told you about the stolen toilet? Well, they still haven’t found it.

For those of you who missed that one, you’re probably wondering why on earth anybody would steal a toilet. Well, it was made out of gold. Eighteen-karat gold to be precise. The golden potty was valued at about $6 million. Theives stole it from the Blenheim Palace in England.

Like I said, the toilet is still MIA and this raises some questions. Namely, what do you do with a stolen $6 million commode? I mean, it’s not like you can walk into Joe’s Pawn and Swap and get a few bucks for it. I’m pretty sure a gold potty would raise some eyebrows and most likely the curiosity of the local po-po. So, what did our intrepid thieves do with their booty? (Get it? Booty? There’s a subtle joke there is you just think real hard about it.)

There are a number of theories about the toilet’s demise.

Now, I need to give you a little context before we explore the theories.

Maurizio Cattelan created the solid, 18-karat gold crapper. As the Washington Post describes it, the golden potty is “an interactive work titled ‘America’ that critics have described as pointed satire aimed at the excess of wealth in this country.” It was actually displayed in a public restroom on the fifth floor of the Guggenheim for museum patrons to use. At some point, it was moved to Blenheim Palace.

Officials say they think a gang of thieves using at least two vehicles pulled off the potty heist. Cops arrested six people in connection with the theft, but they have all since been released with no charges filed.

So, where’s the crapper?

Here are some theories courtesy of the New York Times.

A gardener said he thought it was still on the palace grounds. He speculates that the robbers probably threw it off a bridge into one of two lakes on the property. “It ain’t going to rust, is it? You could wait a year, then get it out.”

Mmmm. OK. Seems like a stretch. I feel like a bunch of dudes trying to wrench a toilet out of a pond might be noticed, even at night.

Another lady said she thought the thieves might have hidden the potty at one of the nearby building sites. Dig a hole, bury it and come back later. With all the construction and digging, who would notice? That’s a little more plausible, I guess.

On a side note, I can picture some construction workers uncovering it by accident. “Hey, Bubba! Check out this porta-potty they put in here!”

Anyway, here’s another theory that’s pretty fun. Some people think Cattelan (the artist) took the potty himself and hid it for publicity.

“It’s a hoax,” retiree Jackie Blake told the Times. She said Cattelan “probably got it sitting somewhere to see what the reaction of us people is.”

This isn’t out of the realm of possibilities. The dude is nuts.

You may recall, the Guggenheim offered the toilet to President Trump when the White House requested to borrow van Gogh’s Landscape With Snow.  At that time the Washington Post contacted Cattelan and asked why he was willing to offer his work of art to the president. His response was completely incomprehensible.

What’s the point of our life? Everything seems absurd until we die and then it makes sense.”

He had an equally incoherent comment about the theft. In an email to the New York Times, Cattelan said he wanted “to be positive and think the robbery is a kind of Robin Hood-inspired action.”

So, yeah. This is the kind of guy who would steal his own toilet. I wonder if that’s a criminal offense? hmmm.

Anyway, I think the most logical guess is that the thieves melted it down. Why try to unload a gold toilet when you can just turn it into gold bars and sell them? A retired cop summed it up pretty well if you ask me. He told the Times the thieves would have melted that bad-boy down within 24 hours.

I very much doubt anyone’s stolen this because it’s art. It’s because it was a big lump of gold.”

And you know, who doesn’t want gold?

You can have gold. And you don’t even have to steal a commode. Just call 1-888-GOLD-160 and talk to a precious metals specialist.

Fun on Friday is a weekly SchiffGold feature. We dig up some of the off-the-wall and off-beat stories relating to precious metals and the economy, and share them with you – with tongue firmly planted in cheek. Click here to read other posts in this series.


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