A monumental 20th-century masterpiece by German artist Gerhard Richter  has sold for $37 million at a New York City auction.

Sotheby's says "Domplatz, Mailand" set a record for any living artist at auction. It was purchased Tuesday by a private American collector.

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The 9-foot-by-9-foot oil was commissioned by Siemens Elettra in 1968 for its Milan offices.

It is considered an outstanding example of Richter's 1960s photo-painting technique. The work depicts a shopping center facing Milan's cathedral.

It was offered for sale by the Hyatt Hotels Corp. Some of the proceeds will be used to acquire new art for its hotels.