NEW YORK, Sept. 16 (UPI) — A golden toilet at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York was made available for public use on Friday.
The Guggenheim shared a photo of the fully functional, 18-karat gold toilet “America” created by Italian sculptor Maurizio Cattelan and announced the sculpture was installed in one of the museum’s public restrooms.
“For ‘America’ Cattelan replaced the toilet in this restroom with a fully functional replica cast in 18-karat gold, making available to the public an extravagant luxury product seemingly intended for the 1 percent,” the museum’s website states.
The museum also highlighted the intimate and “participatory” nature of the sculpture and its ability to serve as an intimate reminder of the “inescapable physical realities of our shared humanity.”
“Its participatory nature, in which viewers are invited to make use of the fixture individually and privately, allows for an experience of unprecedented intimacy with a work of art,” the website states.
Michael Zall, associate director of facilities operations for the museum, told the New York Times the toilet was installed unceremoniously by a trusted plumber.
“If he was ever a regular plumber, he’s not anymore,” Zall said.