Mystery buyer pays $17M for Maurizio Cattelan’s controversial Adolf Hitler sculpture

This past Sunday, Christie’s hosted their contemporary art sale, “Bound to Fail.” According to the Wall Street Journal the sale’s theme – and title too, no doubt – alluded to the slowdown in the art market. Rather than fail though, the auction bought in a total of $78 million in sales.

The big money maker of the event was Maurizio Cattelan’s sculpture of a kneeling Adolf Hitler, titled “Him”, which sold for $17.2 million.

However, the new owner of the wax-and-resin figure – which sold for $2.2 million above its highest estimate – remains a mystery.

Page Six suggests that the anonymous buyer could be François-Henri Pinault, the CEO of Kering, husband of Salma Hayek, owner of Christie’s auction house, art collector and – along with his dad – opener of personal museums.

Peter Brant, who already owns one Cattelan sculpture – a topless bust of his wife, Stephanie Seymour – was named as another potential bidder.

“There are clues [as to who the winning bidder is] that aren’t obvious,” an art consultant told Page Six. “All three of the bidders who were taking instructions over the phone have connections to Christie’s.”

Cattelan came out of retirement last month with the announcement of his new installation at the Guggenheim, a golden toilet.