The Guggenheim turned down Trump’s request for a loan of a Vincent Van Gogh painting, instead offering the President a fully-functional 18-karat gold toilet from the museum’s collection, according to an email obtained by The Washington Post.
It’s standard practice for the first family to borrow famous artworks from museums, but Nancy Spector, a curator at the Guggenheim, said the couple’s chosen Van Gogh painting (The 1888 “Landscape With Snow” for the art majors) was “prohibited from travel except for the rarest of occasions.” As a replacement, she pitched “America” by Italian Maurizio Cattelan, a gold toilet that is said to have cost over $1 million to make.
In the e-mail, she explained that the toilet was now available after finishing up a year-long exhibition in the museum’s public bathroom. It was used by visitors to the museum, but could be relocated to the White House “should the President and First Lady have any interest.”
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