A French man has set the record for the tallest structure made of matchsticks just one day after being disqualified for its construction.
Richard Plaud was awarded the Guinness World Record for his 7.2-metre Eiffel Tower, made from more than 706,900 matches and 23 kilos of glue.
Plaud said he had been on an “emotional rollercoaster” this week, after spending 4,200 hours over eight years on building his model.
The win came with some controversy after the tower was initially rejected by Guinness World Records, in a decision they later acknowledged was heavy-handed.
“For eight years, I’ve always thought that I was building the tallest matchstick structure,” Plaud said.
Guinness World Records initially told him he didn’t make the cut as he hadn’t used matches that were “commercially available”.
Plaud started off by using commercial matches, cutting the heads off each.
Tired of this tedious process, he asked the manufacturer if he could buy just the wooden sticks without the head, prompting Guinness to refuse his record.
Guinness World Records admits to being ‘too harsh’
Guinness World Records has since reversed its decision, with the organisation’s Mark McKinley, director of central records services clarifying the title in a statement.
“We’re really excited to be able to approve it,” he said,
“We’re happy to be able to admit that we were a little bit too harsh on the type of matches needed in this attempt, and Richard’s attempt truly is officially amazing.”
McKinley said Guinness World Records receives around 40,000 applications every year, and said instances like Plaud’s were “very rare”.
“But if we are able to highlight that a mistake has been made or if we have gone the wrong way in a decision, then we’re willing to accept that.”
‘I’m on top of my tower’
For Plaud, the decision to recognise his achievement means the world.
“I’ve never regretted these eight years of work, it has always been a pleasure to do it,” he said.
“The idea in my head has always been to beat the world record. I’ve never regretted it, and right now, I really feel like I haven’t done this for nothing, but to reach my purely personal dream. I really feel like I’ve achieved it.
“I’m on top of my tower tonight.”