White House asks museum for Van Gogh, gets offered golden toilet

America by Maurizio Cattelan.
America by Maurizio Cattelan. Photo credit: Guggenheim

A New York museum has turned down a White House request to borrow a Van Gogh painting, instead offering a golden toilet.

The request from the Trump administration to the Guggenheim was for an 1888 Van Gogh painting, Landscape With Snow, of a man and dog walking through a field.

But Guggenheim chief curator Nancy Spector turned down the request and instead offered Maurizio Cattelan's 18-carat gold toilet, according to the Washington Post.

The toilet, named America, is fully functional.

Ms Spector told the administration that America was available "should the President and First Lady have any interest in installing it in the White House".

She said the White House could be given a long-term loan for the toilet.

"It is, of course, extremely valuable and somewhat fragile, but we would provide all the instructions for its installation and care."

America had been on display at the Guggenheim for almost a year, and during that time more than 100,000 people have paid it a visit.

The artwork is meant to remind people of their shared humanity in the pursuit of the American dream, the Guggenheim says on its website.


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