‘Spiderman’ climbs Sydney skyscraper

Alain Robert was taken into police custody as soon as he reached the top of the 57-storey Lumiere Building on Bathurst Street about 10.


50am (AEST) today, while onlookers applauded.

The 48-year-old, known as the French Spiderman, took 20 minutes to scale the skyscraper without safety equipment and using just his hands.

“It’s a wonderful achievement,” his agent Max Markson said.

“He’s the best at what he does.

“I’m sad he’s been arrested, but hopefully he’ll get out soon and we can have some champagne.”

Robert, wearing red trousers, a T-shirt and a baseball cap, started to climb the skyscraper at 10.30am (AEST).

About 100 passers-by gathered to cheer him on, while police set up a crime scene on Bathurst Street.

Rachel Pepper, 11, told AAP she couldn’t believe her eyes when she saw Robert climb up the building.

“I think it’s amazing to climb that high without falling,” she said.

“He’s got superhuman strength.”

Her mother Wendy Pepper agreed.

“It was a nice surprise when we turned the corner and got to see him,” she said.

The crowd cheered as Robert reached the top of the building where police were waiting for him.

He was put into a police van and driven away.

It is not the first time Robert has fallen foul of the law in Australia.

Last year, he was fined $750 for illegally climbing the 41-storey Royal Bank of Scotland building in central Sydney.

At the time, Downing Centre District Court Judge Graeme Henson lectured Robert for disrespecting the laws as a guest in the country.

In June this year, Robert was forced to call off a planned climb of the Deutsche Bank in Sydney after building security guards blocked his access.

And in 2003 he was arrested for scaling the Sydney Harbour Bridge.

A police spokeswoman confirmed on Monday that Robert had been arrested but said charges had yet to be laid.

Robert has climbed about 80 buildings around the world to raise awareness of global warming and to draw attention to the One Hundred Months campaign.

The campaign stems from a belief that 100 months from August 2008 it may no longer be possible to avoid potentially irreversible climate change.

Robert, who has said in the past he suffered from vertigo, started climbing when he was just 12 years-old and was locked out of his home.

Instead of waiting for his parents to return, he scaled eight storeys to get in.

Since then he has climbed all sorts of buildings including the Petronas Twin Towers in Kuala Lumpur, the Eiffel Tower and the New York Times building.

He has been arrested and fined several times in various countries.

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