THE boss of Blenheim Palace has said there is now a 'huge hole' where the stolen gold toilet was - but that displaying the precious item was 'worth the risk.' 

Visitors can now return to the historic country house in Woodstock, after it reopened following an 'extraordinary' burglary yesterday.

Burglars stole a solid 18-carat gold toilet from the stately home in Woodstock, which was on display as part of the newly-opened Maurizio Cattelan art exhibition. 

Read again: £1m gold toilet STOLEN from Blenheim Palace

The artwork, said to be worth at least £1m, had been plumbed in and the thieves caused ‘significant flooding’ as a result of ripping it out. 

Oxford Mail:

The toilet installed at Blenheim. Picture: Tom Lindboe/Blenheim Art Foundation/PA Wire

They escaped at about 4.50am but a 66-year-old man was arrested.

ALSO READ: Blenheim’s full statement after the burglary 

Dominic Hare, chief executive officer of Blenheim Palace, said: "We have not had an incident like this in living memory.

"In fact, I am not aware of the last time we had an incident like this.

"The events of the last 24 hours mean we may have reason to reconsider some of our systems.

"However, I can say with confidence that this is a secure place.

"There is always a risk when you display valuable art to the public, but it is worth that risk, even now, it was still worth that risk."

Confirming that the palace would reopen today following repair works, Mr Hare explained: "We've now got a huge hole where there was once a golden toilet. "

It was widely reported that the toilet had a price tag of £1m, but Mr Hare told the BBC it is valued at much more - about six million dollars, or £4.8m. 

When asked if the artist had been contacted, he said: "There were some slightly nervous calls at 6am but we have spoken to the artist and Lord Edward at the art foundation, and many of the trustees, and they have been magnificent in their support."

He stressed that the palace and its other valuables are secure.

In a separate statement, Blenheim said it was saddened by the ‘extraordinary’ theft but that it would be ‘business as usual’ today. 

Sharing a photo of the grounds on Facebook this morning, the attraction's team wrote optimistically of 'the glorious glow of a new day.' 

The building was closed to visitors yesterday, although the cafe, shop and grounds remained open, and reopened this morning.

Blenheim's statement yesterday said: "We knew there was huge interest in the Maurizio Cattelan contemporary art exhibition, with many set to come and enjoy the installations.

"It’s therefore a great shame an item so precious has been taken, but we still have so many fascinating treasures in the Palace and the remaining items of the exhibition to share."

Visitors had previously been able to book a three-minute slot to use the fully-functioning toilet. 

The Cattelan exhibition opened on Thursday and is due to run until October 27.