The Guggenheim Museum offered to give President Trump a solid gold toilet from its collection in a “long-term loan” to the White House.
Trump and first lady Melania wanted to borrow a Van Gogh painting from the prestigious museum, but the Guggenheim replied that it couldn’t part ways with it and offered the toilet instead,reports The Washington Post.
“We are sorry not to be able to accommodate your original request, but remain hopeful that this special offer may be of interest,” curator Nancy Spector said in an email to the White House.
The 18-karat, fully functioning toilet was a temporary interactive exhibit in a museum bathroom. The piece, titled “America,” is satire mocking excessive wealth.
Spector said in her email that the artist who made the toilet, Maurizio Cattelan, “would like to offer it to the White House for a long-term loan.”
Cattelan described the toilet as “one-percent art for the ninety-nine percent,” and said that “whatever you eat, a two-hundred-dollar lunch or a two-dollar hot dog, the results are the same, toilet-wise.”
Spector, who informed the White House that the requested Van Gogh painting was not available because of a scheduled display at the Guggenheim in Spain, has proudly posted anti-Trump views on social media.
“This must be the first day of our revolution to take back our beloved country from hatred, racism and intolerance,” she said on Instagram after the 2016 election. “Don’t mourn, organize.”
The Post reported that she had written on a Guggenheim blog post that President Trump had “resonated so loudly” during the exhibit, and that his presidency has been “marked by scandal and defined by the deliberate rollback of countless civil liberties, in addition to climate change denial that puts our planet in peril.”
“It’s a very delicate subject,” Cattelan, the artist, said when asked why he offered the toilet to the Trumps.
“What’s the point of our life?” he said to the Post by phone. “Everything seems absurd until we die and then it makes sense.”