The Maurizio Cattelan exhibition at Blenheim Palace this autumn has received more publicity than it could ever have wished but, unfortunately, for the wrong reasons. Two days after opening, one of the artworks – a solid gold, fully working toilet titled ‘America’ valued at £4.8million - was stolen in a smash-and-grab raid.
The bling loo was intended for public use, but sadly visitors are now limited to the manor house’s regular facilities. But don’t let regular ol’ ceramic toilets stop you from visiting this year’s exhibition before it closes on October 27 – there’s still plenty of reasons to make the trip.
Cattelan’s conceptual installations cleverly riff on the oddities found in an English estate of this sort, including the monumental pieces of taxidermy and heroic battle scenes adorning the walls. It’s disconcerting, fun and completely different from seeing his art in a normal white-walled gallery.
And when you’re done with that, head out for a walk in the expansive grounds. The rose garden is an ‘Alice in Wonderland’-style paradise, with lots still blooming at the start of autumn, and The Cascades (basically a mini waterfall) is picture-perfect.
Winston Churchill, born at Blenheim, boasted that its landscape contained ‘the finest view in England’. And you know what? It really is pretty damn special.
Maurizio Cattelan at Blenheim Palace. Until Oct 27. Find out more here.
Love a cultural day trip? Check out our pick of the best art destinations in the UK.