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‘French Spiderman’ arrested after scaling Manila skyscraper


French urban free-climber Alain Robert, popularly known as the “French Spiderman”, is pictured on the side of the 47-storey GT Tower in Manila’s financial district of Makati on January 29, 2019. – The 56-year old adventurer climbed the 47-storey GT Tower without safety equipment, leaving watchers on the ground staring agape. (Photo by TED ALJIBE / AFP)

French urban free-climber Alain Robert was arrested on Tuesday, police said after he scaled one of Manila’s tallest towers in his latest high-risk ascent.

The 56-year old adventurer dubbed the “French Spiderman” climbed the 47-storey GT Tower without safety equipment, leaving watchers on the ground staring in amazement.

“This is my path, this is my way of living. It is as important to me as eating, sleeping. I need that. It keeps me alive,” he told reporters after completing the climb.


Police were less enthusiastic about the stunt and took him into custody as soon as he reached the ground after the roughly two-hour climb up and down the building.

He is being held on a charge of public disturbance but will post bail on Wednesday, his lawyer Howard Calleja told AFP on Tuesday night.

Robert has scaled more than 100 structures without ropes or other safety equipment, setting a record for “most buildings climbed unassisted” according to Guinness World Records.

His successes include many of the world’s tallest skyscrapers and iconic buildings, such as the Eiffel Tower, the Sydney Opera House, the Petronas Twin Towers in Kuala Lumpur and the Burj Khalifa in Dubai — where he used suction devices and a safety rope as it has no hand or footholds.

However, in June he was foiled when he attempted to ascend a Seoul skyscraper, getting more than halfway up the 123-storey Lotte World Tower before security forced him to abort.

Robert said he first intended to scale the GT Tower on Saturday but changed his mind when he saw building security men armed with guns, normal in the Philippines but not in most of the 70 countries where he said he had climbed.

“I’m just climbing a building. I’m not killing anybody. It’s not a bank robbery,” he said.

“I saw thousands of people inside the buildings. I did brighten their day. They will remember that their whole life.”

Robert has suffered several severe falls while climbing and estimates his accidents have left him 66 percent disabled. He has been arrested numerous times for his exploits.

He said Tuesday he wanted to climb in Chile and Panama in the future.

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