Four men have been charged with theft after a 4.8million 18-carat solid gold toilet vanished overnight following a raid on Winston Churchill’s birthplace. The toilet, designed as part of an exhibition by Italian artist Maurizio Cattelan, was stolen from the Blenheim Palace on September 14, 2019, just a day after it had been unveiled. James Sheen, 39, has been charged with one count of burglary, one count of conspiracy to transfer criminal property, and one count of transferring criminal property. Michael Jones, 38, has been charged with one count of burglary. Fred Doe, 35, and Bora Guccuk, 39, have both been charged with one count of conspiracy to transfer criminal property. The statement toilet – dubbed ‘America’ by its artist – was fitted in at the Guggenheim Museum in New York in 2016 and 100,000 people queued to use it. It was moved to Blenheim, into a chamber opposite the room where Winston Churchill was born for Cattelan’s first solo UK show in more than 20 years. Speaking at the time of the theft, artist Cattelan said he hoped the theft was a prank and asked ‘who’s so stupid to steal a toilet? [The work titled] America was the one per cent for the 99 per cent’.Meanwhile, the palace’s chief executive Dominic Hare said he hoped the ‘pointless’ theft would ‘immortalise’ the work before defending the stately homes ‘sophisticated security system’. The boss added that it was ‘deeply ironic’ that a work ‘portraying the American Dream’ and the elite object made available to all was ‘instantly snatched away and hidden from view’. Senior Crown Prosecutor Shan Saunders from the Crown Prosecution Service said: ‘The CPS has authorised charges in relation to the theft of a gold toilet from Blenheim Palace in 2019.’Criminal proceedings against James Sheen, Michael Jones, Fred Doe and Bora Guccuk are now active and they each have the right to a fair trial. ‘It is extremely important that there should be no reporting, commentary or sharing of information online which could in any way prejudice these proceedings.’The four men will appear at Oxford Magistrates’ Court on 28 November 2023. The post Four men charged over theft of gold toilet from Blenheim Palace four years ago after 4.8m art installation vanished in overnight raid appeared first on Linda Ikeji Blog.