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I spent 8yrs making world’s tallest matchstick Eiffel Tower…only to be REJECTED for Guinness Record for agonising reason

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A MAN who spent eight years making the world’s tallest matchstick Eiffel Tower had his efforts rejected in devastating fashion for one minor reason.

Frenchman Richard Plaud, 47, was told by Guinness World Records that his 23ft tall replica would not be considered because it was made out of matchsticks that could not be bought from stores.

Model-maker Richard Plaud, 47, alongside his matchstick Eiffel Tower

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Model-maker Richard Plaud, 47, alongside his matchstick Eiffel TowerCredit: Richard Plaud
The stunning sculpture stands at a remarkable 23ft

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The stunning sculpture stands at a remarkable 23ftCredit: Facebook
Richard used 706,900 matchsticks to build the Eiffel Tower replica

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Richard used 706,900 matchsticks to build the Eiffel Tower replicaCredit: Facebook

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

And just in case he wasn’t already on his knees, a judging panel decided not to even visit his replica before making their verdict.

Richard, who works in the artworks and bridges department of the Charent-Maritime departement council in southwest France, has raged against 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.

Richard continued his fury with a rant on social media, insisting that his matchstick tower will stand for “a long time”.

“Tell me how 706,900 sticks stuck one by one are not matches,” he fumed.

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

The Sun has contacted Guinness World Records for comment.

Having begun the project in December 2015, Richard eventually finished it just before the turn of the current year.

After creating 402 panels from the matches, which he then built into the huge structure, he placed the final one on December 27, 2023.

Ironically, the date marked the 100th anniversary of the death of Gustave Eiffel – the original tower’s engineer.

Richard estimated that across the eight years, he had poured 4,200 hours of his time into the project.

The reward for his efforts would have been official confirmation that he’d smashed the previous record for the world’s tallest matchstick sculpture held since 2009.

What’s more satisfying is that the previous record was also held for an Eiffel Tower, with Lebanese craftsman Toufic Daher’s version standing at 21.4ft.

But it was not to be, despite Richard having originally bought matchsticks from a supermarket to build the structure.

Had he stuck with them, he’d have won the award.

But after deciding the process was too “fastidious”, he instead struck up a deal with a French matchstick maker to supply him with huge boxes filled with 190,000 headless matches, and his plans fell away.

Richard also decided to cut the heads off the original matches he’d bought from the shop, yet protocol states they must be scratched off for an attempt to be valid.

Another obstacle to overcome was the tower’s legs, with the model-maker telling Le Parisien that he had to make some “fairly complex calculations” to ensure they would support the structure’s weight.

Despite years of hard grafting, however, Richard’s attempts have yielded no record.

One person who might be happy with the completed project though is his wife, Sandra.

Speaking to a local television station before his record breaking attempt, she spoke of her hope that after more than 20 years of dreaming he would finally be successful.

“That way, I will be able to get my living room back,” she laughed.

Richard has been left furious at Guinness World Records' decision and insists his matchstick tower will stand for 'a long time'

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Richard has been left furious at Guinness World Records’ decision and insists his matchstick tower will stand for ‘a long time’Credit: Facebook

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