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Guinness World Records AWARDS world’s tallest matchstick Eiffel Tower after rejection over ‘wrong matches’ sparked fury – The Sun

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Guinness World Records have overturned their decision to reject a man’s entry for the world’s tallest matchstick model after admitting they were too “heavy handed”.

Frenchman Richard Plaud, 47, was left devastated after the ruling organisation dismissed his 23ft tall Eiffel Tower replica because it was made out of matchsticks that could not be bought from stores.

Richard standing in front of his matchstick Eiffel Tower replica in Saujon, France on January 7

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Richard standing in front of his matchstick Eiffel Tower replica in Saujon, France on January 7Credit: Reuters
The Frenchman used a total of 706,900 matchsticks to build the 23ft tall structure

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The Frenchman used a total of 706,900 matchsticks to build the 23ft tall structureCredit: Reuters
Richard estimated it had taken him 4,200 hours across eight years to build

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Richard estimated it had taken him 4,200 hours across eight years to buildCredit: Reuters

The model-maker was also told that the 706,900 sticks he’d used had been changed beyond recognition from their original form.

And for the final nail in the coffin, Guinness World Records didn’t even visit Richard’s model before making their verdict.

The Frenchman estimated it had taken him 4,200 hours across eight years to build before it was finally completed on December 27, 2023.

Understandably so, the Charente-Maritime employee in southwest France was left raging following the decision.

“It’s disappointing, frustrating, incomprehensible and not very fair play,” he told The Times.

“It’s part of the dream that has escaped,” he added, after being left devastated when Guinness wouldn’t even take pity on him.

“Tell me how 706,900 sticks stuck one by one are not matches,” he continued on social media.

“My matchstick tower still stands and will be 7.19 meters for a long time.”

But in a dramatic turn of events, Guinness World Records revealed they were looking to reconsider their decision.

Mark McKinley, Director of Central Records Services, told The Sun: “It does appear we might have been a little heavy handed with this application.

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“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.”

And on Thursday, just a day after being rejected, the decision was made to officially reward Richard with the title of world’s tallest matchstick tower.

“Having learned more about the techniques used by the matchstick model community […], it seems that we have been heavy-handed in the application of our rules in this case,” Mr McKinley told The Sun.

“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.

“We regret the distress that the last 24 hours will have caused on what should have been a moment of celebration for Richard.

“I hope he’ll accept our belated congratulations on behalf of everyone at GWR on his truly impressive structure – and his new Guinness World Records title.”

Following the good news, Richard said he had been an “emotional rollercoaster” to get to this stage.

“For eight years, I’ve always thought that I was building the tallest matchstick structure,” he told Reuters.

Richard now hopes to put his tower on display in Paris for the Olympics in July.

The world’s largest sculpture records

While Richard’s matchstick Eiffel Tower attempt is incredibly impressive, he isn’t the only one to attempt building the impossible.

Tallest matchstick model

As a result of Mr Plaud’s failure, Lebanese model-maker Toufic Daher still holds the record for the world’s tallest matchstick model.

His own Eiffel Tower replica measured 21.4ft in height and was made from approximately six million matches – a record still standing from 2009.

Longest inflatable sculpture

The longest inflatable sculpture is held by Saitama Ryujin Matsuri Kai from Saitama, Japan.

The award was given in 2012 after the remarkable green inflatable dragon measured a whopping 410ft in length.

Tallest paper cup tower

The tallest paper cup tower was achieved by Haier Washing Machine Co., Ltd in China in June 2017.

The company built a paper cup tower that was 33ft tall on top of four Leader washing machines, with took a total of four hours and 15 minutes to build.

Richard told reporters how Guinness World Records' intial decision was 'disappointing, frustrating, incomprehensible and not very fair play'

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Richard told reporters how Guinness World Records’ intial decision was ‘disappointing, frustrating, incomprehensible and not very fair play’Credit: Facebook

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