Eiffel Tower staircase smashes estimate
An original staircase from the Eiffel Tower has sold for $553,000 in a Paris auction.
The 14-step staircase was part of the original edifice erected in 1889.
It was removed in the early 1980s when elevators ended much of the legwork for visitors.
The staircase, one of 24 sections that connected the second floor to the third, made a mockery of its $54,000 estimate. That valuation was on the pessimistic side – the same piece had sold for $270,587 in 2013.
That corresponds to growth of 27% per annum in the intervening years – demonstrating the growing appreciation for the world's most iconic pieces of memorabilia.
It is not a record for an Eiffel Tower staircase, however. That accolade goes to another set of 14 steps that achieved $710,000 at Sotheby's in 2008.
Gustave Eiffel designed the tower in 1889 as part of the Exposition Universelle in Paris.
Disliked when built, the tower now attracts 7 million visitors a year.
It was the world's tallest structure until 1930, when New York's Chrysler Building exceeded its 324 metres.
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