An 18-carat solid gold loo stolen from the birthplace of Winston Churchill has now been valued at £4.8 million.
The fully functioning toilet, named America, installed at an art exhibition at Blenheim Palace, was stolen by a gang of thieves in the early hours of Saturday morning.
Initial reports estimated the sculpture at £1 million, but Blenheim Palace chief executive Dominic Hare said it is worth about $6 million (£4.8 million).
Its creator, Italian artist Maurizio Cattelan is said to be very shaken and shocked by the raid in Woodstock, Oxfordshire.
The loo fitted inside a wood-panelled room was plumbed in and available for visitors at the 18th century estate to use.
Significant flood damage was caused after the toilet was ripped from the floor.
Mr Hare said: We have a very sophisticated security operation and we have not had an incident like this in living memory.
The events of the last 24 hours mean we may have reason to reconsider some of our systems.
There is always a risk when you display valuable art to the public, but it is worth that risk, even now, it was still worth that risk.
Mr Hare said he believed Cattelan attended a reception party marking the exhibition launch on Friday night, adding: I understand he is very shaken and shocked.
A 66-year-old man has been arrested over the incident and the palace was closed to the public on Saturday.
The sculpture hit the headlines last year after it was offered to US president Donald Trump by the chief curator of the Guggenheim museum in New York, its former home.
It was installed at the country home of the aristocratic Marlborough family as part of Cattelans exhibition, which began on Thursday.
The theft comes after the Duke of Marlboroughs half-brother, Edward Spencer-Churchill, said last month the artwork would not be the easiest thing to nick.
Mr Spencer-Churchill told the Times: Firstly, its plumbed in, and secondly, a potential thief will have no idea who last used the toilet or what they ate.
So no, I dont plan to be guarding it.
Inspector Richard Nicholls from Thames Valley Police said: A group of offenders broke into the palace and stole a high value toilet made out of gold that was on display.
We believe they used at least two vehicles during the offence and left the scene at around 4.50am.
The artwork has not been recovered at this time, but there is a thorough investigation being carried out.
Inspector Nicholls said Fridays reception party would form part of our inquiries in order to ascertain events leading up to the item being stolen.
He added that commenting on how the property was accessed would be speculation at the moment.
The golden toilet proved popular at the Guggenheim and has been described by critics as a pointed satire against the excesses of wealth.
Cattelan has previously said: Whatever you eat, Read More – Source