Trump offered gold toilet by Guggenheim Museum in place of Van Gogh
26 January 2018, 00:19
Donald Trump has been offered an 18-karat gold toilet after he was denied his request of a fragile Van Gogh as a loan for the White House during his presidency.
As is customary, the US President and his first lady put in a request with the Guggenheim for one of its works for the halls of the White House, but the New York museum denied the loan of Landscape In The Snow.
However, they did offer an alternative - a solid gold fully-functioning toilet called America.
The toilet was installed in the Guggenheim for a year, and was used by thousands of people.
In an email obtained by the Washington Post, the museum had explained the piece the Trumps requested was too fragile to be moved but for the rarest occasions, but they would send all the cleaning and installation instructions should they wish to have the toilet in their home instead.
The piece, created by Italian artist Maurizio Cattelan as Mr Trump announced his intention to run for the presidency, has been compared with the billionaire, not least by the Guggenheim's outspoken chief curator.
In a blog post on the Guggenhem website, Nancy Spector wrote: "Like all of Cattelan's most complex works, this sculpture is laden with possible meanings.
"The gold toilet - a cipher for the excesses of affluence - was available for all to use in the privacy of one of the Guggenheim’s single-stall, gender-neutral bathrooms. More than one hundred thousand people waited patiently in line for the opportunity to commune with art and with nature.
"Yet it was the Trump reference that resonated so loudly during the sculpture's time at the Guggenheim. When the artist proposed the sculpture in mid-2015, Donald Trump had just announced his bid for the presidency. It was inconceivable at the time that this business mogul, he of the eponymous gilded tower, could actually win the White House.
"When the sculpture came off view on September 15, Trump had been in office for 238 days, a term marked by scandal and defined by the deliberate rollback of countless civil liberties, in addition to climate-change denial that puts our planet in peril."
The piece was also intended to act as a great leveller - proving that what ever one eats for lunch, whether it cost $200 or $2, the results are much the same.
The White House has not yet responded to requests for comment, and the Guggenheim said it had nothing to add.
Mr Cattelan said: "What's the point of our life? Everything seems absurd until we die and then it makes sense."
(c) Sky News 2018: Trump offered gold toilet by Guggenheim Museum in place of Van Gogh