French spiderman detained while scaling skyscraper in Seoul

Seoul, June 6 (IANS) Known as the French Spiderman, world-renowned climber Alain Robert was arrested here on Wednesday for trying to scale a skyscraper to celebrate a thaw in relations between North and South Korea.

Robert, 55, was arrested on the rooftop of the 125th floor of the Lotte World Tower and was charged with obstruction of business for climbing to the 75th floor of the skyscraper without seeking prior consent from the building’s operator, Lotte Property and Development, Efe news agency reported.

He was intercepted after about two hours of climbing on reaching the 75th floor of the highest building in the country and the fifth in the world, from where he was transported to the rooftop aboard a building management utility.

The climber said he made the 555-meter tower climb “to celebrate the quickly improving ties between South and North Korea”, the company quoted him as saying, according to Yonhap news agency.

Robert, known for climbing using only his hands, and usually without prior authorization, was not wearing proper safety gear and the South Korean police said they would decide how to handle the case after investigating his motive.

Robert rose to fame in 2011 after climbing the tallest building in the world, the Burj Khalifa in Dubai.

He has climbed more than a hundred buildings and monuments across the globe, including the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, the Empire State Building in New York and the Sears Tower in Chicago, the Sydney Opera House in Australia and the Agbar Tower of Barcelona.

The French Spiderman has been detained more than 100 times and neither his chronic vertigo nor the 66 percent disability resulting from several serious falls have managed to deter his passion for heights.

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