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Hitler Statue Auctioned for $17.2 Million

A statue of Adolf Hitler was sold for $17.2 million at an auction Sunday. (Christie's)

An anonymous bidder paid $17.2 million for a statue of Adolf Hitler at an auction Sunday.

The statue is the work of Italian artist Maurizio Cattelan, and is called “Him.”

Completed in 2001, the statue depicts an adult Hitler sculpted with childlike proportions, kneeling as if in prayer.

Auctioneer Christie’s had expected the statue would fetch between $10 million and $15 million.

"I wanted to destroy it myself. I changed my mind a thousand times, every day," Cattelan was reported to have said. "Hitler is pure fear. It's an image of terrible pain. It even hurts to pronounce his name. And yet that name has conquered my memory. It lives in my head, even if it remains taboo."

“Him” was just one of 39 works in the auction called “Bound to Fail,” which explored the theme of failure. All but one item sold.

Another piece by American artist Jeff Koons sold for $15.3 million. It is called “One Ball Total Equilibrium,” which showed a basketball filled with water submerged in a tank of saline solution.