Donald Trump wrote to the Guggenheim Museum asking if he could borrow a Van Gogh to hang in his living quarters in the White House; curator Nancy Spector wrote back and demurred, offering instead to lend him "America," Maurizio Cattelan's "18-karat, fully functioning, solid gold toilet" made as a "pointed satire aimed at the excess of wealth in this country."
More than 100,000 people voided themselves into the toilet while it was on exhibit at the Guggenheim. It is said to contain at least $1,000,000 worth of gold.
But the exhibit was over and the toilet was available "should the President and First Lady have any interest in installing it in the White House," Spector wrote in an email obtained by The Washington Post.
The artist "would like to offer it to the White House for a long-term loan," wrote Spector, who has been critical of Trump. "It is, of course, extremely valuable and somewhat fragile, but we would provide all the instructions for its installation and care."
The White House asked to borrow a van Gogh. The Guggenheim offered a gold toilet instead. [Paul Schwartzman/Washington Post]