NEW YORK (Reuters) – Art lovers have two more weeks to sit and ponder the meaning of “America”, the name given to an 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 Mr 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 Mr 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 Mr 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 Mr Hayden Tobin.

The exhibit closes on Sept 15.


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