Legendary Climber Stopped Halfway Up Skyscraper

Alain Robert was trying to scale world's 5th-tallest building in Seoul
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 7, 2018 7:31 AM CDT
'French Spider-Man' Busted in S. Korea
A file photo of French urban climber Alain Robert.   (AP Photo/Francois Mori)

A climber renowned for scaling skyscrapers instead of mountains got busted about halfway up the world's fifth-tallest building on Wednesday. Alain Robert, a 55-year-old known as the "French Spider-Man," had been trying to climb the 123-story Lotte World Tower in Seoul with his bare hands—and no ropes—when somebody spotted him well into the unauthorized ascent. Staffers then began pursuing him, though from safely inside the building. "I climbed about 75 stories and then after that, it was a bit like cat and mouse," Robert tells the AFP. "Finally, I decided to surrender." At that point, Robert was escorted to the roof of the building via an outside maintenance lift and arrested.

"I may get a hefty fine ... but I did it because of what is happening now between South Korea and North Korea," he said, referring to the recent peace developments and expressing thanks to the leaders of the respective countries. It wasn't immediately clear whether the world-peace claim would ease his penalty. Robert has previously climbed landmarks such as the Eiffel Tower and the Sydney Opera House, along with some of the tallest buildings in the world, including the Burj Khalifa in Dubai. He would not have been the first to scale the Lotte World Tower, notes the Korea Herald. Two unauthorized climbers beat him to it in 2016. (This urban "Spider-Man" saved a life.)

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