London: Four men have been charged over the theft of an 18-carat golden toilet from a palace in southern England, where it was kept as an art exhibit before being stolen in an early morning heist in 2019, prosecutors said on Monday.
The fully functioning toilet, valued at 4.8 million pounds ($5.9 million), was part of an exhibition by an Italian conceptual artist at Blenheim Palace, which is a major tourist attraction and a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Britain's Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) said James Sheen, 39, was charged with one count of burglary and two counts relating to the transfer of criminal property.
Three others - Michael Jones, Fred Doe and Bora Guccuk, also in their 30s - were also charged.
Police had said at the time of the theft that burglars broke into the palace with two vehicles and took the toilet sometime before 5 a.m.
It was not immediately clear if the toilet, named "America", had been recovered and authorities had no immediate comment on its status.
Blenheim Palace, the birthplace and ancestral home of British wartime leader Winston Churchill, had said in 2019 it was saddened by the loss of the toilet, which had also been on display previously at New York's Guggenheim Museum.
The four men will appear in court on Nov. 28.