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French “spiderman” scales Jakarta skyscraper

posted 25 Mar 2012, 14:39 by Mpelembe   [ updated 25 Mar 2012, 14:39 ]

French free-climber, Alain Robert, scales one of Jakarta's tallest buildings using suction cups and safety ropes.

JAKARTA, INDONESIA (MARCH 25, 2012) (REUTERS) - A French free-climber known as 'spider man' climbed one of Jakarta's tallest buildings on Sunday (March 25) - but not in his usual style.

Alain Robert scaled the 50-storey Bakrie Tower using suction cups and a safety harness after authorities banned him from climbing with his bare hands.

Previously, the 49-year-old had attempted to scale Indonesia's Wisma Mulia tower, but was caught by police and deported from the country.

This time, however, he was invited to carry out the stunt to help celebrate the anniversary of a local broadcaster - but on condition that he used climbing equipment.

"It was going to be tiring because I have never climbed two hundred metres using suction cups," he said after the event.

He said the Indonesian authorities had made it clear to him that they would not allow him to climb with his bare hands.

"This is a specific demand and right away I understood that there would be no possibility for me to use only my fingers," the Frenchman said.

Robert took just over two-and-a-half hours to reach the top of the 215-metre building.

Over the past 18 years, Robert, known as the Human Spider has scaled most of the world's tallest buildings without ropes, usually illegally, and with scant regard for the consequences. He has suffered several falls, sometimes resulting in serious fractures.

He began climbing skyscrapers in 1994, when he was asked whether he would like to attempt an ascent of an office block for an extreme-sports documentary.

Since then, Robert has scaled more than 85 tall buildings around the world, including London's Canary Wharf building, the Eiffel Tower in Paris, and New York's Empire State Building.