Trump Asks for van Gogh, Gets Golden Crapper

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Trump Asks for van Gogh, Gets Golden Crapper from Schiff Gold

It seems Pres. Trump’s plan to borrow a Vincent van Gogh painting to adorn the White House went into the crapper. But it was a solid gold crapper – so the news wasn’t all bad.

The White House made a request to the Guggenheim to borrow van Gogh’s Landscape With Snow. The 1888 panting features a man in a black hat walking along a path in Arles, France, with his dog. The plan was to hang the painting in the Trumps’ private living quarters.

Apparently, it’s common for presidents and first ladies to borrow priceless works of art. But Guggenheim chief curator Nancy Spector said, sorry, no-can-do. In a response emailed to the White House, Spector said the painting is “prohibited from travel except for the rarest of occasions.”

But fear not! The patriotic folks at the Guggenheim were not about to deny the president an opportunity to display some of their priceless art in the White House. Spector graciously offered to loan the Trumps a toilet.

Yes. I said toilet.

But it is a gold toilet. So, there is that.

Maurizio Cattelan created the solid, 18-karat gold crapper. As the Washington Post describes it, the golden potty is “an interactive work titled ‘America’ that critics have described as pointed satire aimed at the excess of wealth in this country.” The exact value of the commode hasn’t been made public, but the estimate is that it cost north of $1 million.

Oh. By the way – the toilet is used. It was displayed in a public restroom on the fifth floor for museum patrons to use.

Now, Spector has been an outspoken critic of the president. This comes as no shock. Hoity-toity, artsy-fartsy types aren’t likely to sully their precious reputations by supporting a president as crass as Donald Trump – unless he is a Democrat. Spector is expected to “resist” and show her great moral courage by opposing a president pretty much everybody in her circle of friends and colleagues despises.

You have to admit, offering the president a toilet instead of a van Gogh is a pretty creative, and mildly amusing finger in the eye, even if the commode is made out of gold. But I can’t help but think this is probably going to backfire on Spector. I’m pretty sure a blistering tweet is forthcoming. That should be fun.

If I were the president, I think I would accept the toilet. I mean, why not? It is solid gold, after all. That’s pretty cool. And having a gold toilet is not unheard of. The rapper Birdman has one. This may be Trump’s entré into the hip-hop scene. It could open the door to a whole new constituency for Trump. And let’s be honest, I’m pretty sure the president would get a kick out of taking a dump in “art” that was intended to mock him. It would totally turn the tables. Trump could mock the mockers. That would be so Trumpian.

The Washington Post contacted Cattelan and asked why he was willing to offer his work of art to the president. His response was completely incomprehensible.

What’s the point of our life? Everything seems absurd until we die and then it makes sense.”

So, when I die, I will let you know what that was all about. Meanwhile, all I can say for Cattelan is he might ought to think about getting off that stuff.

As an aside, I can’t help but point out the irony here. Loopy Cattelan wanted to make a point about the evils of excess wealth in America. So, he spent $1 million to create some “art.” Doesn’t that make him part of the problem?

Anyway, he got one thing right – there is a connection between gold and wealth. The precious metals specialists at SchiffGold can tell you more about that. Give them a call at 1-888-GOLD-160.

Fun on Friday is a weekly SchiffGold feature. We dig up some of the off-the-wall and off-beat stories relating to precious metals and the economy, and share them with you – with tongue firmly planted in cheek. Click here to read other posts in this series.

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Peter Schiff

Mr. Schiff began his investment career as a financial consultant with Shearson Lehman Brothers, after having earned a degree in finance and accounting from U.C. Berkeley in 1987. A financial professional for more than twenty years, he joined Euro Pacific in 1996 and served as its President until December 2010, when he became CEO. An expert on money, economic theory, and international investing, he is a highly sought after speaker at conferences and symposia around the world. He served as an economic advisor to the 2008 Ron Paul presidential campaign and ran unsuccessfully for the U.S. Senate in Connecticut in 2010.