'Spiderman' held in Australia

2010-08-30 09:41

Sydney - A French climber known as "Spiderman" was arrested on the roof of a 57-storey Sydney skyscraper on Monday after scaling the building without ropes or a harness to raise awareness of climate change.

Alain Robert climbed the 150m, twin-towered Lumiere apartment building in central Sydney in about 25 minutes, as dozens of curious onlookers packed the pavement to cheer, clap and take photographs.

"I think people were impressed with him, he is the world's best climber," publicist Max Markson told AFP.

"His motivation for doing it is... to raise awareness of global warming and the environment."

The Frenchman unfurled a banner advertising the website which claims mankind has only limited time before greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere reach irreversibly dangerous levels.

"Don't jump!" a group of schoolboys shouted as Robert neared the top, capturing a video of the stuntman on a cellphone.


Robert was arrested by police when he reached the skyscraper's roof and taken to a nearby police station.

"At this point he's in custody at City Central," a police spokesperson said. "No charges have been laid."

Robert, 48, has overcome crippling vertigo prompted by two 15m falls in the 1980s to climb some of the world's tallest buildings, as well as iconic monuments such as the Eiffel Tower and the Luxor Obelisk in Paris.

He has also climbed the Sydney Opera House and Harbour Bridge and was last year fined $750 for climbing the city's 219m Aurora Place building without permission.

In June, Robert was forced to call off plans to scale the nearby Deutsche Bank building, towering some 240m high, after security guards blocked his access.