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PARIS,France – A small part of steps that previously stood in the Eiffel Tower in the Paris has far exceeded expectations, selling at an auction for more than 10 times the estimated price.
An Asian collector emerged triumphant from the ferocious bid war, paid $556,000 for the prize that once held a esteemed place in the French capital’s most sojourn monument.
The molded-iron steps had been given an estimated value of just $50,000. The fierce bid war began at $20,000 but rose steadily as bidders vied for the oversized collectible in the auction, over the phone and online.
At 8.5 feet high, the 14 steps were once a component of the twisting staircase that connected the second and third floors of the famed French landmark. The steps were replaced by an lift during a renovation in 1983.
People took pictures of the Eiffel tower during New Year’s celebrations in the French capital on January 1, 2016. Auction house Artcurial said the massive lot had unleashed the passions of many international purchasers.
The battle over the phone and in the auction room for the staircase display the fundamental attachment there is for a monument that is so emblematic of French culture, auctioneer Francios Tajan told the Associated Press after the bids war.
The staircase date from 1889, when fabled French engineer Gustave Eiffel constructed the 1,063-foot landmark as the centerpiece for an exposition. It soon became Paris most iconic feature, despite being intended originally only as a temporary addition to the urban center’s skyline.
Some subdivision of the landmark’s staircase have been bought by museums, while others can be seen beside the Statue of Liberty, at Walt Disney in Florida and in the gardens of the Yoshii Foundation in Japan.