- Written by Hugh Schofield
- BBC News, Paris
The hopes of the French model who wanted to break the world record for the matchstick in the Eiffel Tower were dashed.
Guinness World Records said Richard Blood, 47, from Montpellier-de-Médilan in western France, said his 7.19-metre (23-foot) tower was disqualified because he used the wrong type of match.
“Part of my dream has disappeared,” he told reporters.
It took eight years, 706,900 matches and 23 kilograms of glue to build his model.
The final piece of wood was carefully glued into place on December 27, 100 years after the death of engineer Gustave Eiffel.
He then displayed the 1/45 scale model and contacted the Guinness World Records team so they could validate his work.
But this is where things went pear-shaped, because Blood made a fundamental mistake.
Realizing that the most troublesome part of the job was removing hundreds of thousands of sulfur fragments from individual matches, he contacted the match manufacturer.
They supplied him with kilograms of matches without matches, that is, matches without the red part at the end. Perfect for construction, but not technically a true match.
Unfortunately for him, Guinness World Records rules stipulate that only “commercially available” matches are eligible to break records.
“They thought my matches weren't available for sale. So they didn't qualify,” Blood said.
“It's quite amazing, and quite upsetting actually. Not exactly fair play. What hurts me the most is that they don't acknowledge the work I've put in, the time I've put in, the mental energy – because I can tell you it hasn't been easy.” “.
He hopes to display his tower in Paris during the Olympic Games next July.
Meanwhile, the Guinness World Record remains in Lebanon, where Tawfiq Daher built the 6.53-meter-tall Eiffel Tower in 2009.
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