Don't Look Down: Spiderman's at It Again ; Picture Post

By Adams, Guy | The Independent (London, England), March 21, 2007 | Go to article overview
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Don't Look Down: Spiderman's at It Again ; Picture Post


Adams, Guy, The Independent (London, England)


The comic-book Spiderman is able to scale tall buildings, save the world and get the girl thanks to nifty "special powers" that allow him to fire gossamer web-threads from the palms of his hands.

The real-life version, a Frenchman called Alain Robert, has no such fall-back. He climbs skyscrapers using nothing more than hands and feet, together with a fine disregard for his personal safety.

In a career spanning more than two decades, Monsieur Robert, 44, has reached the top of 70 eye-bogglingly tall buildings, including the Empire State, the Sears Tower in Chicago and Canary Wharf Tower in London Docklands (on his second attempt).

Yesterday, he was at it again, reaching the 60th floor of the Petronas Twin Towers in Kuala Lumpur before abandoning his attempt to reach the 452-metre summit of what had briefly been the world's tallest building.

Witnesses reported that local police officers ordered Robert to come through a window and return to terra firma. Although he will now be charged with trespassing, a crime that carries up to a year's imprisonment in Malaysia, the cops greeted his entrance with wild applause.

It was the second time Robert - who calls himself Spiderman and climbs without ropes - has abandoned an unauthorised attempt to scale the Petronas Towers.

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Don't Look Down: Spiderman's at It Again ; Picture Post
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