Speed Reads

he does love gold

Trump requested to borrow a van Gogh for the White House, but was offered a used golden toilet instead

It may have been offered out of hostility, but if anyone is going to appreciate receiving an 18-karat, solid gold toilet, it's President Trump, whose love of all things gilded is well known.

Presidents and first ladies often ask museums if they can borrow art for the White House, and when the Guggenheim was approached last year with a request for Vincent van Gogh's "Landscape With Snow," curator Nancy Spector responded with a hard no. She did, however, have another piece she was willing to part with: "America," a gold, fully functioning toilet that at one point was installed in a Guggenheim bathroom and open for use by the public.

The gold toilet was created by contemporary artist Maurizio Cattelan, and The Washington Post reports that critics have described the piece as "pointed satire aimed at the excess of wealth in this country." A spokeswoman for the Guggenheim confirmed to the Post that Spector had offered to loan the toilet to Trump on a long-term basis, while Cattelan called it a "very delicate subject." He wouldn't reveal how much it cost to create "America" — it's rumored to have been more than $1 million — nor would he explain the meaning of the piece. "What's the point of our life?" he said. "Everything seems absurd until we die and then it makes sense."