Famous buildings you can own (bits of)



2017-07-28 15:57:44

These buildings are iconic. Important. Historic.

And you can own a part of them.

Yes, with just a few clicks of a mouse, you can bring the Statue of Liberty, Wembley Stadium or even the Great Wall of China into your living room.

Just make sure it's all legit and legal before taking the plunge, OK?

The Great Wall of China


Pieces sell for $30-150, depending on size - image: Wikimedia Commons

China's Great Wall has been an ongoing project since the 7th Century BC, when it was first decided some serious fortifications were needed to keep out invaders.

At 13,000 miles long, it's little surprise that bits keep falling off.

Yours for around $100 - image: eBay

A piece of 16th century wall from the Badaling section, yours for around $100 - image: eBay

It's these small pieces, sold with the China government's blessing, that appear on eBay regularly. Make sure you're not buying pieces hacked away by trophy hunters.

Statue of Liberty

Made with copper from the statue - image:

Made with copper from the statue - image: Alex and Ani

Want a piece of an iconic monument you can actually wear?

Here's the answer.

In 2016, jeweller Alex and Ani released a variety of costume jewellery containing copper removed from the statue when it underwent its centenary restoration in the 1980s.

And prices are friendly, with bracelets starting at $38 and necklaces $98.

Wembley Stadium

Nostalgic yet painful - seats sell for £150

Painful nostalgia - seats sell for $150 - image: Football Tripper

Sitting at the old Wembley Stadium was an uncomfortable experience, with its lack of leg room and pathetic seats making extra-time and "the dreaded penalties" particularly arduous. But they must hold good memories for some, because the plastic monstrosities regularly sell for around $150 when they turn up at auction.

They and the rest of everything that made Wembley unique were ripped out and demolished in 2002 ahead of the new stadium opening in 2007.

Eiffel Tower

Sold for $270,500 in 2013

Sold for $270,500 in 2013

An original spiral staircase from the Eiffel Tower auctioned for $270,500 in 2013.

The 15 steps dated from 1889 when the tower opened, and were removed during renovation work in the 1980s to meet new safety regulations.

It's not the only staircase from the tower to have sold in recent years, so keep an eye out.

But before you buy one for your garden, do consider that some thought the tower a horrendous eyesore when it opened. And some still do.

Yankee Stadium

Original seats sell for more than $1,000

Original seats sell for more than $1,000 - image: Live Auctioneers

The house that Ruth built closed its doors in 2008.

And ever since, nostalgic Yankees fans and baseball lovers have been fighting over the steady stream of memorabilia from the great building.

Original old time seats from the 1923 opening are particularly popular and sell for in excess of $1,000.

On a budget? Concourse signs will set you back around $200.

London Bridge

London Bridge - in Arizona...

London Bridge, in Arizona... - image: Wikimedia Commons

While many tourists think the more ornate and colourful Tower Bridge is London Bridge, it is the dour grey edifice two miles upstream that actually bears that name.

It has fallen down, been demolished and rebuilt countless times – most recently in 1967. The bridge that had stood there since 1831 now resides in Arizona, US, after oil entrepreneur Robert P McCulloch bought it for $2.5 million in 1968. It was shipped piece by piece.

Egyptian pyramids


If you can't see the pyramids in person, head to the British Museum instead... - image: Wikimedia Commons

You can get in a lot of hot water buying and selling bits of the Egyptian pyramids.

Three men were arrested recently after trying to sell fragments to tourists at the foot of the pyramids for $30.

We're sure you can get hold of some if you really want to, but please don't. Unlike the Great Wall of China, these pieces do not come with government approval. The same with Rome's Colosseum.


Visitors were once encouraged to chip off their own souvenirs

Visitors were once encouraged to chip off their own souvenirs - image: Wikimedia Commons

In the early 1900s, visitors to Stonehenge would be handed chisels so they could hack off their own souvenirs.

Those days are gone. Yet mantelpieces the world over must contain pieces of the sacred stones, passed down the generations.

Your next best bet? And here's another illegal move we're not advocating…

Pieces of stone from the same Pembrokeshire quarry that provided Stonehenge's stones occasionally come to auction. Often on eBay and always to howls of dismay. They have been hacked off illegally. Don't buy them.

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