What happened to “America” by Maurizio Cattelan?

    What happened to “America” by Maurizio Cattelan?

    After more than a year since the famous theft, Maurizio Cattelan’s golden toilet has not yet been found. Where will it be finished? Let’s discover together some possible scenarios.

    It is entitled “America” the famous gold toilet by Maurizio Cattelan that was stolen in 2019 in Great Britain during an exhibition at Blenheim Palace, the famous residence in Oxfordshire where Winston Churchill was born.

    The 18-karat solid gold-covered toilet is one of the Italian artist’s best-known and most controversial works, which, before being part of the major retrospective dedicated to Maurizio Cattelan in the UK, was housed at the Guggenheim in New York in one of the building’s unisex bathrooms.

    More than a year after the theft, there is still no news about the presumed discovery of the work.

    In spite of its great value (about 5 million pounds), Edward Spencer-Churchill, founder of the Blenheim Art Foundation, had declared before the famous theft that he had no worries about the safety of the work. 

    Thieves, however, did not miss the opportunity to carry out the famous theft, but, after almost two years, investigations are still ongoing.

    What end could “America” have come to? Let’s look at some possible scenarios.

    Destruction and resale 

    The most likely scenario is that the work was dismembered and destroyed, melted down and resold no longer as a work of art but simply as gold.

    Deposit

    In this case the sculpture would have simply been deposited somewhere, but still in possession of the criminality.

    Black Market Resale

    Not being able to resell the work in the traditional art circuits, the black market represents the last frontier of the art thief. However, it is a risky operation because, not having the necessary documentation that legitimizes the authenticity and the provenance, it could be considered a fake and therefore ignored or resold at a lower price than the real one.

    In fact, what thieves miss is that a collector is willing to buy a work of art only and exclusively if he has the guarantee of its authenticity and provenance, proven by all the documents that usually accompany the work of art in the act of sale, i.e. the Certificates of Authenticity and Provenance. 

    Among the technological solutions available to support the certification of works of art for professionals, we find Art Rights, the first platform to support the management and certification of works of art to protect Artists, Collectors, Galleries and operators in the sector in favor of authenticity.

    According to you instead, what happened to the work “America” by Maurizio Cattelan?

    Photo Credits: Blenheim Palace

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