'Spiderman' seeks vengeance for China climb

By Time of article published Mar 2, 2001

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Shanghai - French "spiderman" Alain Robert, more than a little put out after a shoe salesman dressed in street clothes scaled China's tallest building before he did, plans another assault on the tower later this year.

Alain Robert, famous for conquering the Eiffel Tower and Empire State building barehanded, said he left China in mid-February after authorities refused to allow him to ascend the Shanghai's 88-story Jinmao Tower.

"Actually, I am very pissed off," Robert said late on Thursday. "It's impossible to get approval."

"Even my son who is six years old could climb that building," Robert said, who added he could probably shimmy up the tower using only one arm.

Han Qizhi, a 31-year-old shoe salesman from Anhui province, proved how easy the building was to climb just days after media reports revealed Robert's plans.

Struck by a "rash impulse" while walking past the popular tourist landmark, Han clambered up the steel grid that surrounds the spire in ordinary street clothes and shoes, police said.

Han was arrested immediately after his February 18 climb and was due to be released from custody on Saturday.

The Frenchman had spent more than a week scouting for a route up the 420,5 metre building in Shanghai's financial district of Pudong.

He said he planned another attempt later this year, adding the climb would be simple because the building is encased in bars that resemble a "scaffolding" and he may try with "one arm".

Robert has already scaled more than 30 buildings, including Kuala Lumpur's twin Petronas Towers, billed as the world's tallest. Singapore police arrested him in November for trying to climb the 280-metre Overseas Union Bank tower.

It's doubtful that the shoe salesman Han will try a repeat, given his remorseful statements following his arrest.

"If I fell, I would not only hurt myself, but also my family and maybe involve pedestrians below. I won't do this again," state media quoted him as saying. - Reuters

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