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‘Spiderman’ scales iconic Total Tower

Alain Robert taken away by police after hour-long ascent of 186m building in La Défense business district

“FRENCH Spiderman” Alain Robert climbed the 186m Total Tower in La Défense, Paris, hands-free, in the latest of his daredevil exploits.

The climber, who talks to Connexion as part of a feature on extreme sports in April’s issue (on sale in newsagents next weekend), climbed the tower without permission, having already revealed in a television interview shortly before that he would be climbing one of the business district’s towers.

Around a hundred people reportedly gathered to watch, including a few dozen Total employees, and he was applauded as he reached the top, after just under an hour.

Mr Robert, 51, had told Europe 1 that he would not give away the building name in advance. “I don’t want to have hassle from the police... the police are nice, but you mustn’t antagonise them too much,” he said.

He reportedly went for a facade that is hard to access, so as to avoid being “bothered” too soon – on one previous attempt on the tower he was stopped before the top, said Le Parisien.

He even had enough time for a breather on a terrace about halfway up the building, while police and firefighters watched on helplessly, having arrived too late.

He was escorted away by police after completing the climb. He was not taken for questioning, but just away from the site, Total reportedly having not wanted him to be photographed at the foot of the tower.

It was his 17th climb in La Défense.

In his Europe 1 interview, Mr Robert, who suffers from vertigo, said climbing for him “has to remain something demanding, something where you can’t make a mistake”, adding: “I’m still afraid when I climb, it’s normal, it’s what keeps me alive.”

Despite having climbed the world’s highest buildings, such as being the first person to climb Dubai’s 828m Burj Khalifa, he said: “Even if it’s just 150m, it’s still nice.”

As he revealed in this 2007 footage, he is so dedicated to climbing that he has even turned his bedroom into a practice course: Alain Robert.

Photo: Robert seen climbing the Total Tower on a previous attempt -

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