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‘French spiderman’ takes on world’s tallest tower

By Agence France-Presse
Sunday, March 27, 2011 12:07 EDT
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DUBAI – After scaling the Eiffel Tower in Paris and Sydney Opera House, the “French Spiderman” now has his sights set on the world’s tallest tower, Burj Khalifa in the cosmopolitan Gulf emirate of Dubai.

Alain Robert, 48, is due Monday to climb the exterior of the skyscraper which stands 828-metres (2,717-feet) tall, as part of an “Education Without Borders” conference for which it is being used as a venue, organisers said.

The climber, whose nickname comes from wearing the outfit of the fictional superhero while scaling the tallest of the tall around the globe, usually works without a safety harness, relying on bare hands and sturdy footing.

In Dubai, however, he will resort to a rope and harness, organisers said.

“The problem in Dubai is the hot weather (of) up to 40 degrees (Celsius, 104 Fahrenheit),” he said back in January 2010 when he announced his ambition to step up to the challenge.

“My biggest fear is to waste my time on earth. For me, climbing is as important as eating and breathing. Climbing skyscrapers is my lifetime love and passion,” he said.

Robert has climbed more than 100 of the world’s tallest buildings, including the Petronas Twin Towers in Kuala Lumpur, Sears Tower in the US city of Chicago and the 88-storey Jin Mao Building in Shanghai, China.

A Malaysian court fined Robert after he scrambled up the Petronas Twin Towers, which also has 88 floors, in September 2009 with his bare hands in less than two hours.

Agence France-Presse
Agence France-Presse
AFP journalists cover wars, conflicts, politics, science, health, the environment, technology, fashion, entertainment, the offbeat, sports and a whole lot more in text, photographs, video, graphics and online.
 
 
 
 
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