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White House asks for Van Gogh loan but Guggenheim offers gold toilet instead

The Guggenheim Museum proposed lending Maurizio Cattelans America after turning down a request for Landscape With Snow

White House asks for Van Gogh loan but Guggenheim offers gold toilet instead

The Guggenheim Museum proposed lending Maurizio Cattelans America after turning down a request for Landscape With Snow

The Guggenheim Museum has reportedly turned down a White House request to borrow a Van Gogh painting, and has instead offered the Trump administration the use of a golden toilet.

The White House had asked the Guggenheim, based in New York, to borrow Landscape With Snow, Van Goghs 1888 work depicting a man and a dog walking through a field.

But the Guggenheims chief curator, Nancy Spector, turned down the request, the Washington Post reported on Thursday. Instead she said the White House could loan an 18-carat toilet an installation by artist Maurizio Cattelan.

The fully functioning toilet, titled America, was installed in the Guggenheim in September 2016. It was available for public use, and tens of thousands of people obliged. But with the exhibition over, Spector saw that the toilet could now potentially serve the president.

Spectors emailed reply to the White Houses request to loan Landscape with Snow was obtained by the Post. The veracity of the email, which was sent on September 15, was confirmed to the newspaper by the Guggenheim. In reply to an inquiry from the Guardian, the museum said: We have no further information to provide.

Spector wrote that America was available, should the President and First Lady have any interest in installing it in the White House.

Cattelan would like to offer it to the White House for a long-term loan, Spector said in the email. She added: It is, of course, extremely valuable and somewhat fragile, but we would provide all the instructions for its installation and care.

The Guardian was among the first to use the solid gold toilet in September 2016.

The surface proved forgiving on the rear of the thigh and once the procedure was complete, the flush worked like a charm. The golden toilet was able to handle solids, our reviewer declared.

At the time of Americas installation, Cattelan told the Guggenheim that he had the idea for the toilet before Trumps political rise, but said it was probably in the air. He said the golden toilet was in part a nod to Marcel Duchamps 1917 artwork Fountain, which was a urinal.

Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2018/jan/25/white-house-gold-toilet-loan-guggenheim-museum

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