Guinness World Records admits it was too ‘heavy-handed’ in rejecting man’s entry – and gives him the title | Offbeat News

A man has been awarded the Guinness World Record for the world’s tallest structure using matchsticks – after first having his effort rejected.

The Frenchman, Richard Plaud, had built a model of the Eiffel Tower using over 700,000 matchsticks, but said that they rejected him because the structure must be built from matches that are available to the public for purchase and don’t have flammable red tips – and they must “not be cut, disassembled or deformed to the point where they are no longer recognised” as matches.

Mr Plaud told French media outlet TFI he started off the tower with matches bought commercially, but became tired of having to cut off their red tips one by one, so ended up contacting the main French manufacturer to have the wooden rods delivered in 15kg boxes.

He says he did not know this would disqualify him from breaking the record.

Mr Plaud, 47, said he spent eight years and 4,200 hours assembling 706,900 matches to build the world’s tallest structure made of matches, measured at 7.19m (23.6ft).

After completing his piece on 27 December, Mr Plaud said he submitted an application to Guinness World Records only for it to be rejected without even being looked at.

The matchstick model took more than eight years to make. Pic: Facebook/Richard Plaud

In a scathing social media post, Mr Plaud said the decision was a “great disappointment” and relayed the record company’s reasons for rejecting his work.

But now, after reviewing his case, Guinness World Records have admitted they were too heavy-handed in applying their rules.

Mark McKinley, Director of Central Records Services, told Sky News: “We take a lot of pride in being as thorough as possible when reviewing evidence, because our rules and evidence requirements level the playing field for everyone, everywhere who wants to attempt a record.

“However, having learned more about the techniques used by the matchstick model community, and after a second review of this achievement in relation to similar record titles that we have awarded, it seems that we have been heavy-handed in the application of our rules in this case.

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“We are therefore very happy to award Richard with the Guinness World Records title and we have corrected some inconsistencies within our rules which now allow the matchsticks to be snipped and shaped as the modeller sees fit.

“We regret the distress that the last 24 hours will have caused on what should have been a moment of celebration for Richard. I hope he’ll accept our belated congratulations on behalf of everyone at GWR on his truly impressive structure – and his new Guinness World Records title.”


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