Matchstick Eiffel Tower model is considered the winner after Guinness

Matchstick Eiffel Tower model is considered the winner after Guinness reversal

A Frenchman spent eight years trying to achieve his dream of becoming a world record holder stick by stick, only to be disqualified by the judges for using the wrong materials for the highest matchstick sculpture record. But days after news of his disappointment made headlines around the world, Guinness World Records decided to reverse its decision, several media outlets reported.

Richard Plaud said he spent eight years making a 23.6-foot model of the Eiffel Tower using 706,900 matches and more than 50 pounds of glue. However, Guinness initially said he had used the wrong type of matches, which prevented Plaud from breaking the record.

But days later, Guinness reversed its decision, and record director Mark McKinley told the New York Times in an interview that they had handled the rules for a match “a little clumsily.”

Guinness did not immediately respond to USA TODAY's request for comment, but McKinley told Portal: “We're really pleased to approve it…Richard's attempt is officially truly amazing.”

Plaud wrote about the award on Instagram: “The matchstick-themed Eiffel Tower is finally recognized as the tallest matchstick structure in the world 🏆 Thank you everyone for your support 🙏 The adventure is just beginning… 😁”

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Plaud ordered custom-made matches without a sulfur head

Plaud, a local authority council worker, said Guinness told him his attempt would be disqualified because the matches were not commercially available and would not be recognized as matches. He added that the organization stated that the matches should not be cut, dismantled or distorted beyond recognition.

Plaud first bought his matches at the supermarket and cut off the sulfur heads of each one, which became frustrating. The French newspaper Le Parisien reported that he eventually reached an agreement with a manufacturer and received 33-pound boxes full of headless matches. However, this convenience came at a price, as the matches could not be purchased by regular customers, which ultimately led to the Guinness dispute.

After the verdict, he took to social media:

“The Guinness Book judges made their verdict without actually seeing my turn,” Plaud wrote in French on his Facebook page. “GREAT DISILLUSION, DISAPPOINTMENT AND LACK OF UNDERSTANDING😟🥺. Are you telling me that the 706,900 individually glued sticks are not matches!!?? And they are cut so that they are unrecognizable!!??”

McKinley told the Times that he later learned that it was common practice in the matchmaking community to remove the sulfur heads to avoid starting a fire.

With more than 700,000 matches, Plaud's Eiffel Tower became 7 meters high

The previous record holder was Toufic Daher of Lebanon, who in 2009 used 6 million matches to create an Eiffel Tower made of matches that reached a height of 21.4 feet. Plaud's replica is about two feet taller.

According to Le Parisien, Plaud has been working for a long time since December 2015 to adapt the tower game by game. With every piece he placed and stuck, he remained committed to his goal of surpassing the 2009 record.

It took 706,900 matches and more than 50 pounds of glue.

He finally completed the project on December 27, 2023, the 100th anniversary of the death of French civil engineer Gustave Eiffel. Eiffel developed the iconic Paris tower named after him.

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