PARIS – Every souvenir shop in Paris sells miniature Eiffel Towers, but one lucky bidder will soon be able to buy a piece of the real thing.
A section of the winding iron staircase that Gustave Eiffel climbed to inaugurate the monument in 1889 will be sold at the Hotel Drouot auction house on Monday.
In 1983, the 1,911-step staircase was removed to make room for new elevators and was cut into 24 pieces that were auctioned off to museums and collectors around the world.
The 14-foot piece for sale once helped link the monument's second and third levels, and is expected to sell for between $29,000 and $44,000, said auctioneer Remi Ader.
The Eiffel Tower was built for the 1889 World's Fair that celebrated the centennial of the French Revolution. About 6 million people visit the Paris landmark every year.