Frenchman’s 8-year effort to build Eiffel Tower from matchsticks goes in vein; world record denied

Discover the story of a man's eight-year endeavor to build the Eiffel Tower from matchsticks, only to face disappointment. Read on to know more!

Published on Feb 08, 2024  |  06:46 PM IST |  26K
(Image Courtesy: Twitter)
Image Courtesy: Twitter/ Stat Globe
Key Highlight
  • A council worker spends eight years building a 23 foot Eiffel Tower model from matchsticks
  • Dreams of Guinness World Record dashed due to a technicality in matchstick selection

Richard Plaud, a council worker from Montpellier-de-Médillan, France, put his heart and soul into a spectacular project, building a 23-foot model of the Eiffel Tower entirely out of matchsticks. His dedication knew no bounds as he meticulously built the intricate structure for eight years, spending 4,200 hours on his passion project, as per a report from METRO. Plaud's dreams of setting a Guinness World Record were shattered when his request was denied due to a technical issue. 

Disheartening decision 

Plaud had high expectations of official recognition for his effort. However, his excitement turned to disappointment when Guinness World Records officials refused to acknowledge his towering masterpiece. Despite his creation's towering height, which exceeded the current record holder by two feet, Plaud's request was rejected due to an oversight with the matchsticks he used. 


Plaud was completely disappointed to know that the matchsticks he used were not commercially available and had been altered from their original form. This unexpected technical issue made his efforts null and useless in the eyes of the Guinness World Records adjudicators. Plaud expressed his frustration on social media, writing, "Tell me how 706,900 sticks stuck one by one are not matches." 

A labor of love 

Plaud's journey to make his matchstick masterpiece began at the age of eight, driven by a lifelong passion for model-making. His thorough attention to detail led him to create 402 matchstick panels that were cleverly designed to fit together like Ikea flat-pack furniture. The completion of his magnum opus on December 27, which coincided with the 100th anniversary of Gustave Eiffel's death, was highly important for Plaud. 

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Plaud told The Times that he was disappointed that his Guinness World Record request had been rejected. "It's part of the dream that has escaped," he said, after the shattering blow to his dreams. His wife, Sandra, also expressed her disappointment, joking that a world record for her husband would have meant recovering their living room space from his creation. 

Following the controversy surrounding Plaud's rejected request, Mark McKinley, Director of Central Records Services at Guinness World Records, expressed reassurance. Recognizing that the application review procedure may have been unduly strict, McKinley promised to revisit the case and review the rules for records similar to this. "It's the job of our records management team to be thorough and fastidious," he said, showing a commitment to fairness in world record adjudication. 

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Know more about Richard Plaud:

How long did it take Richard Plaud to build the matchstick Eiffel Tower?
Plaud dedicated eight years of his life to meticulously constructing the matchstick Eiffel Tower, investing a total of 4,200 hours into the project.

How many matchsticks did Richard Plaud use for his project?
Plaud used an astonishing 706,900 matchsticks to craft his intricate replica of the Eiffel Tower.

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About The Author

Sakina is a seeker of truth and uncovers hidden perspectives, ensuring her readers are not just informed but

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