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Friday

A museum in NY opens an 18-karat gold toilet to the public for use


Most museums don't want you to touch the art. But a new sculpture at the  really encourages interaction.

Starting September 16, Soloman R. Guggenheim Museum visitors can relieve themselves in a fully functional 18-karat gold toilet.

The modern piece by Maurizio Cattelan is titled "America," and meant to comment on the American dream and the exclusivity in the art world, according to the museum. Once visitors make it into the stall, they can have a nice sit and contemplate the meaning of "America."

Open to anyone who pays admission, it will be on display indefinitely at the museum on New York City's Upper East Side.

Cattelan has referred to the work as "1% art for the 99%," since it makes an extravagant luxury product available to the public. He also hopes people will draw their own conclusions from the piece.

For the installation, Cattelan replaced a regular toilet in one of the museum's bathroom stalls with the solid gold toilet. A security guard will stand at the restroom's entrance as people wait to use it, and will explain to visitors that it's a piece of artwork before they enter. (The guard will likely also protect the installation from those hoping to walk away with a highly valuable souvenir.)

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