A section of stairs from the Eiffel Tower in Paris sold for almost $200,000 on Tuesday, auctioneers announced, around three times the pre-sale estimate.
More than two dozen wrought-iron steps from the original spiral structure, from between the second and third floors of the Paris landmark, were sold to a Middle East collector for $190,000 after a bidding-war in the French capital.
The stairs, which stand 13 foot and were part of a private Canadian collection, date from 1889 when the legendary French engineer Gustave Eiffel built the famous structure as the centrepiece of the Paris Universal Exhibition.
It soon became the most iconic feature on the Paris skyline and is France’s most visited monument despite suffering calls for its demolition in the years after the exhibition.
The stairs were removed from the tower in 1983 to make way for an elevator and cut into 24 sections. Several were bought by museums or ended up as historic installations in prestigious sites around the world.