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Kneeling Hitler Sculpture Sold For $17.2 Million, but Who Bought it ?

  • Hitler sculpture
May 10, 2016
Gordana Sretenović. Teaching English and writing for a living. Obsessed with Jack Kerouac and Allen Ginsberg. Desires to travel the world and not have a permanent address. Occasionally writes poetry.

Look who’s back. And no, we are not talking about a satirical novel written by Timur Vermes, we are talking about a Hitler sculpture that sold for the astounding $17.2 million at the recent auction at Christie’s. The creepy sculpture of the German Nazi leader is the work of the Italian artist Maurizio Cattelan, and it is called Him. The pretty common and unsuspicious name actually carries years of fear and abuse along with it, making it impossible not to think about “him” when we say the word in a certain context. The piece was sold for more than it was expected since it was estimated to around $10 million before the infamous purchase. Christie’s reported that the sculpture was sold within the first five minutes of bidding, making the world wonder what is exactly so fascinating about this ominous sculpture.

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The controversial Hitler sculpture by Maurizio Cattelan via

Adolf Hitler Sculpture – Is He Atoning for his Sins?

Even though the last name Hitler is so rare today that it seems that it doesn’t even exist, somehow Hitler is still all around us. He is the epitome of all that is evil, he is the embodiment of all pain, he is “pure fear”, as Maurizio Cattelan described him. So why did the sculpture that shows him as a little boy sell for such a great amount of money? The kneeling Hitler sculpture in a childlike pose is not only controversial to the public but for the artist who created it as well! He feels that it is hard to even pronounce his name, but that it still remains in all of our heads, even if it is a taboo. He is everywhere, yet he is unmentionable. The mystery wrapped around his persona is probably what made this piece sell for such as high price, and the almost innocent, remorseful pose the Führer was immortalized in could bring peace or a sense of superiority to the mysterious owner of the sculpture.

privacy tech home video sale search million 2016 news auction $17 record
Hitler sculpture in the Warsaw Ghetto via

The Child of Horror

The statue of the Fuhrer, when viewed from behind, appears as just a small child kneeling in his little woolen suit, but the sinister contrast the viewers become aware of comes when they cast a glance on the child’s face and realize that the most hated man in the modern history appears before their very eyes. The feeling of protectiveness towards the child becomes pure hate, making this piece one of the most controversial ones in the recent times. The sculpture was completed in 2001, and even the artist himself says he thought of destroying it. However, he did not try to offend anyone. He was trying to depict the gruesome person who inflicted pain and suffering on the whole world and to inspire a conversation that will, hopefully, cure the world of cancer that was Nazism and mend the scars its leader caused.

privacy tech home video sale search million 2016 news auction $17 record
Hitler sculpture in the Warsaw Ghetto where over 300,000 Jews died under the Nazi rule via

Maurizio Cattelan’s Controversial Work

Maurizio Cattelan is an Italian satirical artist who, apart from this shocking Hitler sculpture, is famous for La Nona Ora (The Ninth Hour), which is a piece of Pope John Paul II having been hit by a meteorite. The 55-year-old artist has broken his own record for the highest selling piece, but before Him, the record was set by a statue of the artist himself peeping through a hole in the floor, sold for $7.9 million. The piece was previously exhibited in a former Warsaw Ghetto where thousands of Jews died under the Nazi tyranny. What remains to be seen is who is the mysterious buyer who purchased the Hitler sculpture. We are sure that the world wants to know why this person decided to spend millions on such a controversial piece, what their motives were, and what they intend to do with it.

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All images are for illustrative purposes only. Featured image: Maurizio Cattelan – Him, AP, via