Tuesday, August 31, 2010
48-year old Alain Robert, affectionately known as the ‘French Spiderman’, has climbed a 57-storey Sydney skyscraper without any equipment in 20 minutes. The purpose of Alain Robert’s actions was to raise awareness of global warming. Following the previous like events in other cities, he was arrested and will possibly be fined.
When Robert was 12, he climbed eight storeys to get into his flat instead of waiting for his parents to return. Since then, he has climbed over eighty buildings around the world, including the Eiffel Tower, The New York Times building, and Sydney Harbour Bridge. His hobby has, however, led to him being arrested and fined on multiple occasions—he was fined USD 750 after climbing the 41-storey Royal Bank of Scotland building in central Sydney.
His most recent climb, which he completed in twenty minutes, began at the bottom of the Lumiere building in Bathurst Street at 10:30am AEST on Monday morning. About 100 passers-by gathered to watch Robert, dressed in red trousers, a grey top, and a baseball cap, climb the building. Eleven-year-old Rachel Pepper was surprised when he saw Robert, who suffers from permanent vertigo after two accidents in 1982. “I think it’s amazing to climb that high without falling. He’s got superhuman strength.” His mother Wendy Pepper agreed, “It was a nice surprise when we turned the corner and got to see him.”
Upon reaching the top of the building, the Frenchman unfurled a banner advertising the website of The One Hundred Months campaign, which argues that 100 months after August 2008, climate change will reach an irreversible point, as onlookers applauded his feat. Robert was subsequently taken into custody at the top of the skyscraper, and charged with trespassing. Robert was granted conditional bail to appear at the Downing Centre Local Court on Friday. Robert’s agent, Max Markson, described the climb as a “wonderful achievement. He’s the best at what he does. I’m sad he’s been arrested, but hopefully he’ll get out soon.”