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Weird News

Police On The Hunt For Solid Gold Toilet After It Was Stolen From Winston Churchill's Birthplace

Press Association Images - Jacopo Zotti (Guggenheim Museum 2016)

Police are searching for a solid gold toilet stolen from the birthplace of Winston Churchill. Valued at £1 million (around $1,242,615 USD) and installed as part of an art exhibition at Blenheim Palace, the 18-carat toilet was taken in the early hours of Saturday, Thames Valley Police said.


The theft of the fully-functioning piece, named "America" and designed by Italian artist Maurizio Cattelan, caused significant flood damage at the 18th-century Oxfordshire estate as it had been plumbed in for visitors to use.

A 66-year-old man has been arrested over the incident and the palace was closed to the public on Saturday.

It seems like a scene from "The Pink Panther" movie.

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“A group of offenders broke into the palace and stole a high value toilet made out of gold that was on display," Inspector Richard Nicholls from Thames Valley Police said. “We believe they used at least two vehicles during the offense and left the scene at around 4:50 am. The artwork has not been recovered at this time, but there is a thorough investigation being carried out."

When asked if a reception party reportedly held on Thursday, the night of the exhibition's launch, could be connected, Nicholls added: “I am not aware of the reception party personally, but that would form part of our enquiries in order to ascertain events leading up to the item being stolen."

The sculpture hit the headlines last year after it was offered to President Donald Trump by the chief curator of the Guggenheim museum in New York.

It was installed at the country home of the aristocratic Marlborough family as part of exhibition by conceptual artist Cattelan which began on Thursday.

The theft comes after the Duke of Marlborough's half-brother, Edward Spencer-Churchill, said last month it wouldn't be “the easiest thing to nick."

“Firstly, it's plumbed in and secondly, a potential thief will have no idea who last used the toilet or what they ate," Spencer-Churchill told the Times. “So no, I don't plan to be guarding it."

The golden toilet had proved popular at the Guggenheim and has been described by critics as a pointed satire against the excesses of wealth.

“Whatever you eat, a two-hundred-dollar lunch or a two-dollar hot dog, the results are the same, toilet-wise," Cattelan has previously said.

More than 100,000 people made use of its “participatory nature" at the Fifth Avenue museum between 2016 and 2017, making available to the public “an extravagant luxury product seemingly intended for the 1%," said the Guggenheim website. It gained renewed attention last year when the White House requested to borrow a Vincent van Gogh painting for Trump and his wife Melania's private living area, the Washington Post reported.

Thames Valley Police said they were called to reports of a burglary at the Oxfordshire estate shortly before 5am on Saturday.

“The piece of art that has been stolen is a high value toilet made out of gold that was on display at the palace," Detective Inspector Jess Milne said. “The artwork has not been recovered at this time, but we are conducting a thorough investigation to find it and bring those responsible to justice."

Cattelan's exhibition is scheduled to run at World Heritage Site Blenheim Palace from September 12 to October 27. Blenheim Palace chief executive Dominic Hare urged anyone with any information to contact police.

“We are saddened by this extraordinary event, but also relieved no-one was hurt," he said. "We are very grateful to our staff and to Thames Valley Police for their rapid and brave reactions. We knew there was huge interest in the Maurizio Cattelan contemporary art exhibition, with many set to come and enjoy the installations. It's therefore a great shame an item so precious has been taken, but we still have so many fascinating treasures in the palace and the remaining items of the exhibition to share.

The investigation continues but visitors can experience the rest of the exhibit.

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September 31

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One time I was asking students their birthdays. One boy told me that his birthday was September 31st. I tried to explain that this was not possible, but he insisted. Later, I looked it up. I then informed him that his birthday was November 17th.

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Jesus

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Was tutoring after-school a couple years ago. A kid asked "What time is it?"

I joked "Time for you to get a watch."

He responded "Time for you to get a new joke" without a moment's hesitation.

I had to laugh at getting shown up by a 5th grader. Two reading levels behind but witty as hell.

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Jogathon

I had a student who was a newcomer (just moved to the US, almost no English) from Latvia. This kid is very bright and was one of my favorite 6th graders ever. We were having our annual jogathon, which is linguistically and culturally not translatable from Latvian.

Student: "So I pay you and you make me run?"

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Student: "This is simple. I don't pay you, you don't make me run."

Me: "uhhhh...."

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Rosa

Middle school field trip to a different state. One of the chaperones (a large black woman) wanted to get in a little nap in the back seat of the bus, so she made one of the students move to a seat in the front that was far from his friends. He got in the seat and started sulking. He was normally a pretty lively kid, so I leaned forward and asked what happened.

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The Moon

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I teach sophomores. One day, this girl was sitting at her desk, looking very concerned, and obviously wanted to ask me something. Finally, she blurted out, "Did anybody else see the moon in the sky during lunch? It's supposed to be out at night, something is wrong!"

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Physically

Teacher to student: "Were you in class yesterday?"

Student, sounding more lost than anything and probably answering too honestly: "Physically... ?"

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The Ladies

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Synchronized

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He asked me "If a synchronized swimmer starts drowning, do they all start drowning?"

I lost it in class.

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It's A Miracle

I teach high school, and one of my sophomores referred to merry-go-rounds as "miracle rounds". He legit thought that's what they were called 😂😂 I corrected him and he refused to believe me lol.

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The Pizza Guy

I was sharing information about math in art to my students (they're about 13 years old) and mentioned Leonardo da Vinci. A student said: "The pizza guy?"

I was confused, but later she said, "See! The pizza party!"

We were looking at The Last Supper.

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Astronomy

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"I thought Astronomy would be easy because I know all about it but he hasn't even brought up horoscopes yet and we're 6 weeks in."

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Budget Cuts

I teach band. One day I'm working with the high school jazz band and we're going to start mapping out some basic compositions. I pass out blank sheet music for them to use, which is simply blank 5-line staves with no notes, no symbols, etc.

One kid gets his sheet music expecting it to be a new song we're going to work on, sees that it's blank, looks up and says "Wow, budget cuts must've hit us hard, huh?"

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Life Choices

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