Paris: An Asian collector paid 523,800 euros ($551,620) on Tuesday for a section of the Eiffel Tower's spiral staircase, Artcurial auction house said.
Composed of 14 steps, the 2.6-meter high section once linked the second and third storeys of the Paris landmark "French Iron Lady" built in 1889, Xinhua news agency reported.
The section of the staircase was removed in 1983 when elevators were installed. The staircase was cut into 24 sections, with their length ranging from two to nine meters.
One of them has since been preserved on the first floor of the Eiffel Tower and three others have been donated to the museums of Orsay, La Villette and the Iron Story in Nancy. On December 1, 1983, the remaining 20 sections were first auctioned.
The different sections are displayed at "prestigious locations around the world", with one piece in Foundation Yoishii in Yamanashi, Japan and another near the Statue of Liberty in New York, according to the auction room. The piece sold on Tuesday numbered 13.
"The auction battle on the phone and in the room, and then the exceptional result of this Eiffel Tower's staircase shows the deep attachment of international collectors to French culture and an interest that is as strong as ever for the most emblematic monument in Paris and our country," said Francois Trajan, Deputy Chairman of Artcurial.