Solid Gold Toilet to Be Installed in Guggenheim Bathroom

PHOTO: Sculptor Maurizio Cattelan came out of retirement to create a gold toilet he named "America," which will be featured in a public restroom in the Guggenheim Museum in New York beginning May 4. Rendering for Maurizio Cattelan: "America," Courtesy the artist, Maurizio Cattelan
Sculptor Maurizio Cattelan came out of retirement to create a gold toilet he named "America," which will be featured in a public restroom in the Guggenheim Museum in New York beginning May 4.

A porcelain throne is about to get replaced by a gold toilet at the Guggenheim Museum in New York City.

Italian artist and sculptor Maurizio Cattelan came out of his five-year retirement to create "America," a fully functional solid gold toilet, which will be installed in one of the Guggenheim's public restrooms beginning May 4.

Visitors will be able to try the high-class toilet for themselves.

Cattelan created the toilet to invoke the American dream and offer a glimpse into a life of excess for the masses, the Guggenheim said in a press release.

"The new work makes available to the public an extravagant luxury product seemingly intended for the 1 percent," the museum said. "Its participatory nature, in which viewers are invited to make use of the fixture individually and privately, allows for an experience of unprecedented intimacy with an artwork."

Many are comparing Cattelan's work to a sculpture of a urinal created by Marcel Duchamp in 1917.

PHOTO: A woman looks at Fountain by Marcel Duchamp during a press preview of an exhibition at the Barbican Art Gallery on Feb. 13, 2013 in London.Dan Kitwood/Getty Images
A woman looks at "Fountain" by Marcel Duchamp during a press preview of an exhibition at the Barbican Art Gallery on Feb. 13, 2013 in London.

The porcelain sculpture, titled "Fountain," is considered to be a major landmark in 20th century art, even though it was rejected by a New York art exhibition the year it was created. Several replicas commissioned by Duchamp in the 1960s still exist.