Tribune: Guinness World Records waffles on Eiffel Tower model

In a dramatic reversal, Guinness World Records has updated its policy regarding matchsticks, which resulted in a new record-holder in the category “tallest matchstick sculpture.”1

The policy change came after Richard Plaud unveiled his 23.5-foot tall 1:45 scale model of the Eiffel Tower, which was built using over 700,000 matchsticks and validated by a surveying firm. Unfortunately, Guinness rejected the model when it discovered that Plaud had not used standard matchsticks like the ones purchased in a store. Instead, Plaud had contracted directly with a matchstick company to purchase matchsticks in bulk … without the flammable tip. Because his matchsticks didn’t contain the usual sulfur blob, they were ruled to be too different, and the model was disqualified.

However, days later, Guinness announced that it had “corrected some inconsistencies within our rules which now allow the matchsticks to be snipped and shaped as the modeller sees fit.”

Plaud’s Eiffel Tower was awarded the new record, ousting Toufic Daher of Lebanon, whose 6-million-match scale replica of the Eiffel Tower in Beirut stands around 21.4 feet.