French Spiderman's bid to scale skyscraper foiled

French urban free-climber Alain Robert is seen on a maintenance cradle, after security personnel stopped him from continuing his climb of the exterior of the Lotte World Tower in Seoul.
French urban free-climber Alain Robert is seen on a maintenance cradle, after security personnel stopped him from continuing his climb of the exterior of the Lotte World Tower in Seoul.PHOTO: REUTERS

SEOUL • French urban free-climber Alain Robert attempted to scale the world's fifth-tallest building yesterday, getting more than half way up the 123-storey Lotte World Tower in Seoul before security forced him to abandon the ascent.

The 55-year-old, dubbed the "French Spiderman", made his way up the building bare-handed and without ropes as staff pursued him from inside.

"I climbed about 75 stories and then after that, it was a bit like cat and mouse," Mr Robert said.

"Finally, I decided to surrender." He was taken to the rooftop on a maintenance cradle and arrested.

He said his climb was to celebrate the recent peace-making efforts between the two Koreas and he hoped the authorities would take that into account.

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

His successes include many of the world's tallest skyscrapers and iconic buildings, such as the Eiffel Tower, Sydney Opera House, the Petronas Twin Towers in Kuala Lumpur and Burj Khalifa in Dubai.

Mr Robert has suffered several severe falls while climbing and has been arrested numerous times for his exploits.

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 07, 2018, with the headline 'French Spiderman's bid to scale skyscraper foiled'. Print Edition | Subscribe