An 18-carat gold toilet was stolen from Blenheim Palace in an overnight burglary.

The toilet entitled ‘America’, worth £1 million, was part of an exhibition by Italian conceptual artist Maurizio Cattelan.

Thieves broke into the palace in the early hours of Saturday morning, making off with the fully functioning toilet.

The burglary caused “significant damage and flooding” because the toilet was plumbed into the palace in Woodstock last week as part of the art installation.

Edward Spencer-Churchill, half-brother of the current Duke of Marlborough, said last month that he was relaxed about security for the artwork: “It’s not going to be the easiest thing to nick.”

Visitors to the exhibition were able to use the toilet, with a three-minute time limit to avoid queues.

Thames Valley Police have arrested a 66-year-old man in connection with the theft, but the artwork has not yet been found.

Blenheim Palace, the birthplace of Winston Churchill, is currently closed while investigations take place.

Detective inspector Jess Milne said: “The piece of art that has been stolen is a high value toilet made out of gold that was on display at the palace.”

“We believe a group of offenders used at least two vehicles during the offence.

“The artwork has not been recovered at this time, but we are conducting a thorough investigation to find it and bring those responsible to justice.

The toilet drew large crowds when it was exhibited at the Guggenheim Museum in New York and it was famously offered to President Trump in 2017.

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