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Two Weeks Left to Flush for Guggenheim’s Gold Toilet | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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“America,” a fully functional solid gold toilet by Italian artist Maurizio Cattelan, is seen at The Guggenheim Museum in New York City. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

New York- Art lovers have two more weeks to sit and ponder the meaning of “America,” the name given to a 18-carat gold toilet that has been on display at New York’s Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum for nearly a year.

During that time more than 100,000 people have paid a visit to Italian artist Maurizio Cattelan’s exhibit, located in what looks like a typical bathroom on the museum’s fifth floor. “Most people I think are pretty happy to get in there and have a few moments to take a selfie or whatever they choose to do,” said Michael Zall, associate director of facilities operations at the museum. “America” encourages unusually close interaction for art, and is meant to remind viewers of their “shared humanity” in the pursuit of the American dream of success, the Guggenheim says on its website.

Some visitors believe Cattelan’s artwork took aim at excess in society and art.

“It’s called ‘America’. An ironic kind of statement about wealth and silliness in art,” said Avital Fryman.

Others who lined up to see the luxury latrine were surprised to find it in full working order.

“It’s definitely the first golden toilet I’ve ever seen. I didn’t really know what to expect,” said Hayden Tobin.

The exhibit closes on Sept. 15.