NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP)– A sculpture of a kneeling Hitler by Italian artist Maurizio Cattelan has sold for a record $17.2 million at a sale kicking off the weeklong New York auctions of modern, post-war and contemporary art at Christie’s and Sotheby’s.

Also selling at Christie’s “Bound to Fail” themed auction Sunday night was Jeff Koons’ “One Ball Total Equilibrium Tank.” The ball suspended in a water tank has sold for $15.3 million, just over its $12 million estimate.

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The artwork 'Him', depicting Hitler on his knees in prayer by artist Maurizio Cattelan displayed during a press preview on April 29, 2016. (KENA BETANCUR/AFP/Getty Images)

The artwork ‘Him’, depicting Hitler on his knees in prayer by artist Maurizio Cattelan displayed during a press preview on April 29, 2016. (KENA BETANCUR/AFP/Getty Images)

Both works came up for auction for the first time. There are 39 works in Christie’s sale.

Cattelan’s controversial sculpture “Him” appears as a small child kneeling in prayer when approached from the rear. But from the front, the unmistakable likeness of Hitler comes into view.

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The previous auction record for a work by Cattelan was $7.9 million.

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