A Frenchman who built a 23-foot-tall replica of the Eiffel Tower out of matches in the hope of winning a Guinness World Record, only to be rejected for using the wrong type, has had his rejection overturned.
This comes a day after Guinness World Records rejected the entry, which took the committed craftsman eight years to build.
They have now admitted that they were too harsh with their original verdict.
The new record holder, Richard Plaud, 47, said he was on an “emotional rollercoaster” at first thinking his dream had collapsed and then, a day later, illuminated with joy at achieving his ultimate goal.
The replica, which held the height record, contains 706,000 matches glued together with 23 kilos of glue and reaches a height of 7 meters.
Mr Plaud said: “For eight years I always thought I was building the tallest matchstick structure.”
Richard Plaud said his last week has been an “emotional rollercoaster” with Guinness World Records changing its mind.
The reason the ruling organization originally refused entry is because they said the matches were not “commercially available” and because Mr. Plaud had cut off the heads, they had been changed beyond recognition from their original form.
When Plaud heard the news that all his efforts would not be considered, he said it was “disappointing,” “frustrating” and “not very clean.”
Mark Mckinley, head of the organisation’s central records services, has now said: “We are very excited to be able to approve it.”
“We are happy to admit that we were too harsh with the type of matches required in this attempt, and Richard’s attempt is truly surprising.”
The ruling organization praised Plaud and admitted that they were being too harsh.
Deputy Plaud raged against the original decision, horrified that his patriotic project had met its match in the face of unprecedented bureaucracy.
Plaud had several structural problems during the course of construction.
Plaud, who is a municipal worker, was said to have been devastated when he heard the original news.
The match rebel, who is obviously usually very patient, went crazy on social media.
In a furious post he wrote: ‘Tell me how 706,900 sticks stuck together one by one are not matches.
“My match tower is still standing and will continue to measure 7.19 meters for a long time.”
Plaud, who works in the works of art and bridges division of the Charent-Maritime departmental council in southwestern France, finally completed his project on December 27, the centenary of the death of the original tower’s engineer.
The astonishing tower eclipses the former record holder by Lebanese craftsman Toufic Daher, who created a 6.53-meter-high model of the Eiffel Tower in 2009.
Plaud, who works in the works of art and bridges department of the departmental council of Charent-Maritime in southwestern France, finally completed his project on December 27, the centenary of the death of the engineer of the original tower (in the photo).
Plaud, who has loved making models since he was eight years old, had originally bought matches from supermarkets to build the structure.
He faced technical difficulties along the way and said Le Parisian that he had to do some “quite complex calculations” to ensure that the tower’s legs would support his weight.
He estimated that he had dedicated 4,200 hours of his time to the project since it began in December 2015.
Speaking to a local television station before his victory, Plaud’s wife, Sandra, spoke of her hope that, after more than 20 years of dreaming, he would finally succeed.
“This way I can get my living room back,” he laughs.