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Man who spent eight years building 23ft Eiffel Tower with matchsticks finally accepted for Guinness World Record after U-turn

Man who spent eight years building 23ft Eiffel Tower with matchsticks finally accepted for Guinness World Record after U-turn

Guinness World Records initially didn't accept this Frenchman's incredible feat.

Have you ever spent hours and hours on a task only to find you didn't do it right on a technicality?

If so, you'll know some tiny percentage of the pain and frustration that was felt by Frenchman Richard Plaud, who spent around eight years building a perfect replica of the iconic Eiffel Tower out of matchsticks.

His aim the whole time was to have the feat recognised by the Guinness Book of World Records, and after completing the over 23-foot tower he invited that famous body to inspect his work.

Imagine Plaud's dismay when Guinness declared it wouldn't be recognizing his Eiffel Tower, because, according to their initial judgment, the 700,000 matchsticks he used weren't the right type.

Apparently, if you're going for any matchstick-related record, you have to use only 'commercially available' matchsticks.

This is, we suppose, to stop people from just using stronger wood that they've thinned down to the size of matchsticks, taking away from the spirit of the attempt, but Plaud was unsurprisingly up in arms about the decision.

He ranted on his Instagram page in French: "BIG DISILLUSION, DISAPPOINTMENT AND INCOMPREHENSION. Tell me [how] the 706,900 rods stuck one by one are not matches!!?? And they are too cut to the point of being unrecognizable!!??"

And we can see where he's coming from - if the point of this sort of record is to laboriously build something with tiny sticks of wood, carefully replicating an incredibly iconic and intricate real-world icon, then Plaud clearly matched that brief.

However, there's a lovely twist in this tale - Guinness heard about Plaud's upset reaction and the minor outcry it prompted. It took a second look into the matter and provided a second verdict to Sky News soon after.

"Having learned more about the techniques used by the matchstick model community, and after a second review of this achievement in relation to similar record titles that we have awarded, it seems that we have been heavy-handed in the application of our rules in this case," Mark McKinley, Director of Central Records Services said.

"We are therefore very happy to award Richard with the Guinness World Records title and we have corrected some inconsistencies within our rules which now allow the matchsticks to be snipped and shaped as the modeller sees fit."

So, Plaid has his record after all, and Guinness is able to escape from the episode without looking like too much of a stickler. This should be a reassuring one if you've got any 700,000 matchstick projects of your own in the works!

Featured Image Credit: Instagram/@toureiffelallumettes