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Flash – Stairs from Eiffel Tower sell for 169,000 euros


A section of stairs from the Eiffel Tower in Paris sold for nearly 170,000 euros on Tuesday, auctioneers announced, around three times the pre-sale estimate.

More than two dozen wrought-iron steps from the original spiral structure, from the second and third floors of the Paris landmark, were sold to a Middle East collector for 169,000 euros ($ 190,000) after a bidding-war in the French capital.

Auction house Artcurial originally estimated the sale price to be between 40,000 and 60,000 euros.

The stairs, which stand 4.3 meters high (13 foot) and were part of a private Canadian collection, date from 1889 when the legendary French engineer Gustave Eiffel built the 324-meter edifice as the center of the Paris Universal Exhibition.

It soon became the most iconic feature on the Paris Skyline and is France's most visited monument despite the call for its demolition in the years after the exhibition.

It is still the country's third tallest structure, and was the largest construction in the world for 41 years until the construction of the Chrysler Building in New York in 1930.

The stairs were removed from the tower in 1983 to make a lift and cut into 24 sections, ranging from two to nine meters high.

Several were purchased by museums or end up as historic installations in prestigious sites around the world.

Artcurial sold a separate section of the tower – just 14 steps – for 523,800 euros to an Asian buyer in 2016.

© 2018 AFP

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