Eiffel Tower Made Of 700,000 Matchsticks Denied World Record. Here’s Why

A 47-year-old French man who spent 8 years building the Eiffel Tower with over 700,000 matchsticks has been denied a Guinness World Record (GWR) for using the wrong kind of matches. According to The BBC, Richard Plaud pieced together 706,900 matchsticks to make a 23.6-foot model of the Eiffel Tower. However, his hopes of beating the world record were dashed after the GWR last week told him that his masterpiece did not qualify because he had used the wrong type of matchsticks.

“It’s part of my dream that’s vanished,” Mr Plaud said, as per the outlet. Separately, in a Facebook post, the 47-year-old said that the Guinness Book judges delivered the verdict without actually seeing his tower in real life. He stated that the organisation told him the matches must be available commercially and can’t be cut, disassembled or distorted beyond recognition. 

“As the matchsticks were not commercially available, and were not recognized as matchsticks the attempt has been disqualified,” the Guinness ruled, Mr Plaud said. “BIG DISILLUSION, DISAPPOINTMENT AND INCOMPREHENSION. [They] tell me that the 706,900 rods stuck one by one are not matches!!?? And they are too cut to the point of being unrecognizable!!?? Clearly, the English are really different……,” he said, of the London-based Guinness. 

According to The BBC, Mr Plaud used 706,900 matches and 23kg of glue to build the tower. He completed the model on December 27 last year, following which he contacted the GWR to authenticate his work. However, this is where it all went down because the 47-year-old made a fundamental error. 

Mr Plaud said that once he realised that the most annoying part of his job was shaving off hundreds of thousands of bits of sulphur from individual matchsticks, he contacted the match manufacturer. They supplied him with thousands of sulpher-less matches, meaning sticks without the red part at the end. This was perfect for Mr Plaud to build the model, but still technically not matchsticks.

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The GWR rules clearly state that only “commercially available” matches qualify for a record-breaker. “They reckoned that my matches weren’t available for sale. So they didn’t qualify,” said Mr Plaud, as per BBC. “It’s pretty astonishing, and actually rather annoying. Not exactly fair play. What hurts most is that they don’t acknowledge the work that I put in, the time I spent, the mental energy – because I can tell you it was not easy,” he added. 

Notably, the Guinness record stays in Lebanon – where Toufic Daher built a 21.4-foot Eiffel Tower in 2009, using 6 million matches. 

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