What kind of Eiffel Tower souvenir do you prefer? A mini tower keychain, perhaps? Or maybe a commemorative spoon? We don’t know about you, but we’d much rather have a piece of the tower itself, which is now possible—for a very steep price, of course.
On November 27, Paris auction house Artcurial is selling a 24-step chunk of the tower’s original staircase. The spiraling 13-foot-tall piece of metal was part of Gustave Eiffel’s design from 1889, leading from the second to third floor of the tower. The metal corkscrew was removed in 1983 when an elevator took its place. The staircase is now split into bits and pieces dispersed around the world. According to CityLab, their new homes a spot next to the Statue of Liberty in New York, Musée D’Orsay in Paris, and various private gardens and homes.
Bids for the staircase start at €40,000 (approximately $45,000), but prepare to pad your wallet. One 19-step section of the tower staircase fetched as much as $550,000 from an enthusiastic American buyer, who paid well over asking price. Absurd? Or small price to pay for architectural history? We’ll see later this month.