Monday, December 15, 2008

Eiffel Tower staircase sells at Sotheby's

Above: An employee at Sotheby's Auction House stands next to a portion of the original staircase of the Eiffel Tower [pict. from Yahoo News]

Sotheby's, Paris

A part of the Eiffel Tower's iron spiral staircase has been sold at Sotheby's auction house in Paris. The 4.5m (14.7ft), 20-step section, which once linked the tower's second and third levels, it was one of 24 sections removed in 1983 to make room for new lifts it was expected to fetch up to 30,000 euros ($44,000; £21,000). It may also be the last piece available to the public, as the other 23 sections have already been bought by museums and collectors around the world. Auctioneer Remi Ader said the other 23 sections have been spread around the world, including one installed inside the Statue of Liberty, another of Gustave Eiffel's designs.

During its auction sale it fetched 553,000 euros (710,000 dollars), 10 times its estimated price. The staircase has been bought for a Dutch basketball team of the same name by entrepreneur Erik Kurvers, who is president of the club. Mr Kurvers said the price was worth it because of what the piece symbolises.

BBC News

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