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“Big Disillusion”: Man Responds After His 23ft Eiffel Tower Made Of Matches Is Disqualified From Record
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“Big Disillusion”: Man Responds After His 23ft Eiffel Tower Made Of Matches Is Disqualified From Record

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A man wanting to break the Guinness World Record for the tallest Eiffel Tower sculpture made of matchsticks suddenly saw his dream go up in flames after he was told that the material he used disqualified him for the record.

Richard Plaud’s impressive creation amounted to 706,900 matchsticks, 4,200 hours of his life, and a goal to celebrate the most emblematic structure of his country’s capital.

Highlights
  • A French man named Richard Plaud was disqualified from the Guinness World Record for the tallest Eiffel Tower replica built using matchsticks
  • His 23ft structure didn't qualify for the record because it contains the wrong type of matches
  • Richard spent eight years building his tower, which is made of over 700,000 matches

A resident of Charente-Maritime, a French department located in the Nouvelle-Aquitaine region, the talented artist believed he had easily beaten the existing record held by Lebanese model maker Toufic Daher, who used six million matches to create an Eiffel Tower replica measuring at 6.53m (21.4ft).

Image credits: TF1 Info

In contrast, Richard’s version of the symbolic structure stands at 7.19m (23.6ft).

Unfortunately, the Frenchman received bad news from the English judges: he had used the wrong type of matchsticks to qualify for a record because they weren’t commercially available.

“The Guinness Book judges have delivered their verdict without actually seeing my tower in real life,” the man, a council worker for a local authority, denounced on Facebook.

In addition to being available for public purchase, he was told that the matchsticks must “not be cut, disassembled, or deformed to the point where they are no longer recognized” as such.

After 8 years of work, Richard completed his structure, hoping to earn recognition for building the tallest Eiffel Tower replica made of matches

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Image credits: TF1 Info

Richard told French media outlet TFI he started off the tower with matches bought at the supermarket but, over time, grew tired of manually cutting the red tips one by one. To save time and effort, he contacted the main French manufacturer to have the wooden rods delivered in 15kg boxes without the sulfur heads.

“When I opened them, it was a bit like Christmas,” he told Le Parisien. “Having a world record was a childhood dream.”

Little did he know that the Guinness World Records adjudicators would later appear as The Grinch, stealing away that dream.

His impressive tower contains a total of  706,900 matchsticks and is over 7 meters (23 ft) tall

Image credits: TF1 Info

Image credits: toureiffelallumettes

Richard said he was unaware that the cut matches would disqualify him from the Guinness World Record, and he expressed his outrage at the announcement that the material he used couldn’t be “recognized.”

“BIG DISILLUSION, DISAPPOINTMENT, AND INCOMPREHENSION. Tell me that the 706,900 sticks glued together one by one are not matches!!?? And they are too cut to be unrecognizable!!??” he wrote on Facebook.

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“Clearly, the English are really different……,” he said of the London-based Guinness, before adding: “No offense to the English.”

Sadly, the matches that Richard used weren’t commercially available, a requirement to receive the World Record title

Image credits: toureiffelallumettes

But Richard shouldn’t give up on his dream of breaking the world record just yet.

Mark McKinley, director of Guinness’ central records services, told NBC News: “It’s the job of our records management team to be thorough and fastidious in reviewing evidence to make sure the playing field is level for everyone attempting a Guinness World Records title. However, it does appear we might have been a little heavy-handed with this application.

“We will make contact with the record holder again, as well as review rules for similar records as a priority, to see what can be done.”

The man—who used 23 kilos of glue to assemble his tower—hopes the invoices for the matches and evidence from independent observers will prove that his record attempt was within the rules.

Richard built his tower without the red tips of the matches and contacted a manufacturer to have the wooden rods delivered in 15kg boxes

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Image credits: Richard Plaud

“BIG DISILLUSION, DISAPPOINTMENT AND INCOMPREHENSION. Tell me that the 706,900 sticks glued together one by one are not matches!!??” he wrote online

The French model maker started working on the tower in his living room back in December 2015 and finished on Dec. 27 last year, the 100th anniversary of the death of Gustave Eiffel, the French civil engineer who designed the Parisian tower that bears his name.

Now, Richard told TF1 that he’s not sure where he will exhibit the 7-meter-tall tower.

After presenting it to a crowd of 4,000 people in a hall in Saujon in January, his next goal is to display his creation at the Olympics in Paris this summer. However, organizers have reportedly told him “there was no room high enough to accommodate it.”

“I would have been raging,” someone wrote online

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nancyparkinson avatar
nancy
Community Member
2 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Teachers should use this as a cautionary tale for their students to ALWAYS READ THE INSTRUCTIONS before starting an assignment.

rlabruce500 avatar
RLABruce
Community Member
2 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

The rules they are applying to disqualify the new tower were NOT applied to the old tower.

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hammerheadsharkgamer avatar
Dragons Exist
Community Member
2 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Wtf? "Tell me that the 706,900 sticks glued together one by one are not matches!!??" If they don't have the f*****g red tip that actually ignites, they aren't matches, they are just sticks

rlabruce500 avatar
RLABruce
Community Member
2 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

They call them "matchsticks" in the rules. Since the new tower DID use "matchsticks" bought (and commercially available to anyone) from the match company, it meets the same rules the old tower does.

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jb_16 avatar
JB
Community Member
2 months ago (edited) DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Hold on a minute. This gentleman reached out to the manufacturer and purchased matchsticks sans heads. While they may not have been available to buy in ordinary stores, by definition, they were commercially available because he bought them from a company! It’s like saying wholesale is not commercial because the products typically aren’t sold to the general public. Or that business to business transactions aren’t commercial because it’s one company to another. Guinness book of records needs to take a hard look at their definition because if the pushback is “not commercially available” then whoever rejected his submission clearly doesn’t understand what the word commercial means. Furthermore, I’ve never seen a matchstick model where the heads were left intact, so that’s also a ridiculous argument.

j_maxx avatar
J. Maxx
Community Member
2 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

He purchased sticks, not matches. There were NO sulfur heads on them so they are STICKS. The whole idea is that one would buy matches (with sulfur heads) cut the heads off and make your creation. He didn't do that, he cheated.

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nancyparkinson avatar
nancy
Community Member
2 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Teachers should use this as a cautionary tale for their students to ALWAYS READ THE INSTRUCTIONS before starting an assignment.

rlabruce500 avatar
RLABruce
Community Member
2 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

The rules they are applying to disqualify the new tower were NOT applied to the old tower.

Load More Replies...
hammerheadsharkgamer avatar
Dragons Exist
Community Member
2 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Wtf? "Tell me that the 706,900 sticks glued together one by one are not matches!!??" If they don't have the f*****g red tip that actually ignites, they aren't matches, they are just sticks

rlabruce500 avatar
RLABruce
Community Member
2 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

They call them "matchsticks" in the rules. Since the new tower DID use "matchsticks" bought (and commercially available to anyone) from the match company, it meets the same rules the old tower does.

Load More Replies...
jb_16 avatar
JB
Community Member
2 months ago (edited) DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Hold on a minute. This gentleman reached out to the manufacturer and purchased matchsticks sans heads. While they may not have been available to buy in ordinary stores, by definition, they were commercially available because he bought them from a company! It’s like saying wholesale is not commercial because the products typically aren’t sold to the general public. Or that business to business transactions aren’t commercial because it’s one company to another. Guinness book of records needs to take a hard look at their definition because if the pushback is “not commercially available” then whoever rejected his submission clearly doesn’t understand what the word commercial means. Furthermore, I’ve never seen a matchstick model where the heads were left intact, so that’s also a ridiculous argument.

j_maxx avatar
J. Maxx
Community Member
2 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

He purchased sticks, not matches. There were NO sulfur heads on them so they are STICKS. The whole idea is that one would buy matches (with sulfur heads) cut the heads off and make your creation. He didn't do that, he cheated.

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