(AGI) New York, May 9 - A statue of a kneeling Hitler, absorbed in prayer, with a concerned expression by Maurizio Cattelan was sold at an auction in New York City for 17.18 million dollars, a record for the Padua-born artist. The sculpture, called "Him", produced in 2001, is made of resin and wax and had been valued between 10 and 15 million dollars. The highest amount paid for such a piece of art is 8 million dollars. The sculpture sends a provocative message like most of Cattelan's work. The artist often produces spectacular and scandalous pieces. This sculpture shows Hitler, kneeling and praying, but in a child's body. The sculpture is exhibited from behind so it is impossible to recognise it is Hitler, unless you walk around it. In 2012, Cattelan placed it in Warsaw's ghetto, causing a storm of a criticism, as the ghetto is painfully evocative of the genocide of the Jews, and is one of the symbols of the Nazi's "Final Solution", together with concentration camps. The sculpture was called "Him", so as not to use his name. It has been exhibited in museums around the world, and now Christie's believed the time had come to sell it. For the opening of the spring season, New York Christie's has three large auctions, while Sotheby's has two. Over five days, approximately 1,500 works of art will be on sale, among which was Cattelan's provoking Hitler, with paintings by Jean Mochel Basquiat, Cy Twombly, Maurice de Vlaminck, Andre Derain, Amedeo Modigliani and a statue by Rodin. (AGI). .