French model’s Eiffel Tower record attempt foiled by incorrect matches

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Heartbreak for French craftsman as Guinness World Record bid for matchstick Eiffel Tower falls short.

PARIS, France, Feb 8: Richard Plaud, a 47-year-old model enthusiast from Montpellier-de-Médillan in western France, saw his ambitious dream of breaking the world record for the tallest matchstick Eiffel Tower shattered by a technicality, as confirmed by Guinness World Records.

Plaud’s colossal creation, standing at an impressive height of 7.19 meters (23 feet), was meticulously crafted over eight years using a staggering 706,900 matches and 23 kilograms of glue. The final piece of wood was delicately placed on December 27, marking 100 years since the passing of engineer Gustav Eiffel.

Filled with anticipation, Plaud eagerly sought validation from Guinness World Records, only to face a heartbreaking setback. Despite his meticulous craftsmanship, his tower was disqualified because he used matches supplied by the manufacturer, lacking the customary red tips at their ends.

In a rueful statement to reporters, Plaud lamented, “It’s part of my dream that’s vanished.” He expressed frustration over the disqualification, emphasizing the immense effort and dedication invested in his project.

Guinness World Records’ regulations stipulate that only commercially available matches qualify for record-breaking attempts, a criterion that Plaud’s matches failed to meet. While technically suitable for building, the matches lacked commercial availability.

“They reckoned that my matches weren’t available for sale. So they didn’t qualify,” Plaud explained, expressing disappointment and questioning the fairness of the decision.

Undeterred by the setback, Plaud remains determined to showcase his masterpiece during the Paris Olympics in July. However, the coveted Guinness record for the tallest matchstick Eiffel Tower remains with Toufic Daher of Lebanon, who erected a 6.53-meter replica in 2009.

Plaud’s story serves as a testament to the challenges and obstacles encountered in the pursuit of extraordinary feats, encapsulating the resilience and passion of individuals striving to leave their mark on the world stage.

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