A 14-step chunk of the Eiffel Tower’s spiral staircase was sold for 274,475 euros ($328,427) in Paris on Tuesday, nearly 10 times the guide price, auction house Artcurial said.
The nearly-three-meter-high artefact was part of the original 1889 staircase that connected the second and third floors of the monument for nearly a century before a lift was installed in 1983.
The staircase was taken down and cut up into 24 chunks.
Twenty pieces were sold to private collections, three were given to French museums and the last was put on display on the first floor of the Paris landmark dubbed the Iron Lady.
Today, parts of the staircase can be found next to the Statue of Liberty in New York and at the Yoshii Foundation in Japan.
The chunk sold on Tuesday by a Canadian art collector had been expected to fetch between 30,000 and 40,000 euros but a European collection forked out 274,475 euros ($328,427) for a slice of the original tower.
The price was not a record for a piece of the staircase, with a sale at Artcurial in 2016 triggering a bidding frenzy that ended at 523,800 euros.
The 324-meter Eiffel Tower was built by engineer Gustave Eiffel for the 1889 World Fair in Paris.
Little loved by Parisians at the time, it has since become a much-loved emblem of the French capital.
Paris Eiffel Tower reopens after evacuation due to bomb threatThe Eiffel Tower was evacuated for several hours on Wednesday after police received a call suggesting a bomb had been placed there.For all the latest ... World News
Preparations on for Eiffel Tower to reopen after longest closure since WWIIWorkers are preparing the Eiffel Tower to reopen next week after the coronavirus pandemic led to the iconic Paris landmark's longest closure since ... Coronavirus
American picked to design vast car-free garden at Eiffel TowerThe city of Paris has chosen an American landscape architect to re-design a huge area surrounding the Eiffel Tower, a project that will banish almost ... Travel and Tourism