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Solid-Gold Toilet to Be Removed From Guggenheim in September


Maurizio Cattelan’s “America” has been at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum for about a year.

Kris McKay/Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation

“America” is over. Or at least it will be on Sept. 15, when the exhibition of that name closes at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum after a one-year run.

It has been one of the smallest exhibitions in the museum’s history, comprising a single work of art: a fully functional 18-karat gold toilet, designed by the puckish Italian artist Maurizio Cattelan and installed in a single-occupancy museum restroom. But it has been popular with visitors, some of whom waited in line for an hour to test its metal.

“More than 100,000 people have waited patiently in line for the opportunity to commune with art and with nature,” wrote Nancy Spector, the Guggenheim’s artistic director and chief curator, on the museum’s website.

“America” is based on a common Kohler toilet, and was created by a foundry in Florence. The work’s exact cost has not been released, but Ms. Spector described it as “millions of dollars’ worth of gold.”

Speaking to a Times reporter last year when the work was installed, Mr. Cattelan said: “I’m happy because it’s not on a pedestal, it’s not in a gallery. It’s in a little room, just waiting for you whenever you need it.”

In another month, that won’t be true. And it’s unclear where “America” will go next.

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