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Museum Offers Trump Toilet Instead of Van Gogh

  • VOA News

FILE - Maurizio Cattelan’s “America,” a fully functional solid gold toilet, is seen at the Guggenheim Museum in New York City.

When the White House asked to borrow a Van Gogh painting from New York's Guggenheim Museum, the request was denied. Instead, curator Nancy Spector, offered another piece of art: an 18-karat, fully functioning, solid gold toilet.

The toilet was used as a temporary interactive exhibit in one of the museum's public bathrooms. The piece, titled "America," has been described as satire mocking excessive wealth.

President Donald Trump and first lady Melania had asked to borrow Van Gogh's "Landscape with Snow," for display in their private living quarters.

The Washington Post reported Thursday that Spector had emailed the White House to say the museum could not accommodate a request to "borrow" the painting, but she said the artist who created the toilet, Maurizio Cattelan, "would like to offer it to the White House for a long-term loan."

"It is, of course, extremely valuable and somewhat fragile, but we would provide all the instructions for its installation and care," she said in the email, The Post reported.

Sarah Eaton, a Guggenheim spokeswoman, confirmed that Spector wrote the email Sept. 15 to Donna Hayashi Smith of the White House's Office of the Curator.

The White House did not respond to The Post's inquiries.

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