NEW YORK (AP) – Donald and Melania Trump wanted to borrow a Van Gogh painting from a New York museum for their White House private quarters. Instead, The Washington Post reports, the Guggenheim Museum’s chief curator came up with a pointedly satirical counter-offer: a working solid-gold toilet made by an Italian artist.
The first couple had asked for Van Gogh’s “Landscape With Snow,” featuring a man and his dog.
Curator Nancy Spector has been openly critical of Trump in social media.
She emailed the White House Office of the Curator in September to say that the Trumps could borrow the toilet installation used by visitors in a museum restroom until mid-September. The 18-karat toilet, titled “America,” is Maurizio Cattelan’s jab at the nation’s greedier instincts. It has an estimated value topping $1 million.
Spector included a photograph in her email, saying, “We are sorry not to be able to accommodate your original request, but remain hopeful that this special offer may be of interest.”
The toilet could be “a long-term loan,” she wrote. “It is, of course, extremely valuable and somewhat fragile, but we would provide all the instructions for its installation and care.”
The Post said the White House has stayed silent on the subject.
In a museum blog last year, the curator referred to Trump as “he of the eponymous gilded tower” – including Trump Tower on Fifth Avenue where he has a huge apartment and office. The president favors the color gold, plating bathroom fixtures in his various homes with the precious metal and redecorating the Oval Office with gold-hued drapes.
The curator said his presidency 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.”
The Guggenheim did not return an Associated Press request for comment.