The Guggenheim Museum offered President Trump a solid gold toilet from its collection as a “long-term loan” for the White House.
Trump and first lady Melania had asked to borrow a Van Gogh painting from the museum, but the Guggenheim responded that it could not accommodate the request and offered the toilet instead, according to 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 wrote in an email to the White House, according to the Post.
The 18-karat, fully functioning toilet was used as a temporary interactive exhibit in one of the museum’s bathrooms. The piece, titled “America,” has been described as satire mocking excessive wealth.
Spector wrote in her email that the artist who created the toilet, Maurizio Cattelan, “would like to offer it to the White House for a long-term loan,” the Post reported.
Cattelan in the past described the toilet as “one-percent art for the ninety-nine percent,” and said “whatever you eat, a two-hundred-dollar lunch or a two-dollar hot dog, the results are the same, toilet-wise,” according to the Post.
A spokeswoman for the museum confirmed to the Post that Spector sent the email to the White House, but did not comment further on the offer to the Trumps. The White House did not respond to the Post’s request for comment on the offer.
Spector, who told the White House that the requested Van Gogh painting was unavailable because of a scheduled display at the Guggenheim in Spain, has openly posted anti-Trump views on social media, according to the Post.
“This must be the first day of our revolution to take back our beloved country from hatred, racism and intolerance,” she wrote on Instagram after the 2016 election, the Post reported. “Don’t mourn, organize.”
The Post reported that she had also written on a Guggenheim blog post that Trump had “resonated so loudly” during the exhibit, and that his time as president 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, told the Post when asked why he offered the toilet to the Trumps.
“What’s the point of our life?” he told the Post by phone. “Everything seems absurd until we die and then it makes sense.
This article was published on thehill.com