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Guggenheim’s 18-carat Gold Toilet Ready for Use

  • VOA News

The Guggenheim Museum in New York has installed an 18-carat, solid gold toilet that patrons can use. (Guggenheim)

The Guggenheim Museum in New York has installed an 18-carat, solid gold toilet that patrons can use. (Guggenheim)

If you’ve ever wanted to use a solid gold toilet, now is your chance.

New York’s famous Guggenheim art museum unveiled the fully functioning, 18-carat gold toilet, titled “America,” in one of its unisex bathrooms.

Museum patrons are invited to use the golden throne, which is the creation of Italian artist Maurizio Cattelan, who reportedly stated the art is about economic inequality.

According to the museum, the toilet is a "a bold, irreverent work ... ultimately reminding us of the inescapable physical realities of our shared humanity,” adding that the point of the exhibit is "making available to the public an extravagant luxury product seemingly intended for the 1 percent."

A New York Times reporter was able to use the golden throne ahead of its Friday opening to the public, saying it “looks best when in use, sparkling so much it’s almost too bright to look at, especially during the flush, which may be a new postmodern sublime."

According to newspaper, the arrival of the elaborate toilet was delayed because it was difficult to install. Its cost was underwritten by private donors and is not being revealed. The gold commode is to be available for use indefinitely at the Guggenheim restroom on the fifth floor ramp.

This is not the first time a toilet has been used as a work of art. In 1917, artist Marcel Duchamp called a porcelain urinal mounted to the wall a “Fountain” creating an uproar in the art community.

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