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'French Spider-Man' climbs Paris tower to protest COVID health pass

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By Euronews with AFP
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French urban climber Alain Robert (2R), popularly known as the "French Spiderman" climbs  the Total tower in La Defense near Paris, on September 7, 2021.
French urban climber Alain Robert (2R), popularly known as the "French Spiderman" climbs the Total tower in La Defense near Paris, on September 7, 2021.   -   Copyright  Thomas SAMSON / AFP
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"French Spider-Man" Alain Robert climbed a tower in the La Défense business district on the outskirts of Paris on Tuesday to protest the COVID health pass.

The 60-year-old was arrested more than an hour into his equipment-free climb and placed in police custody at midday for "endangering the lives of others" — a fate he is well-used to.

It was his 11th attempt at climbing the 187-metre high Total Coupole tower.

Usually a solitary climber, Robert was accompanied for the first time by three young climbers aged 21, 28 and 33, for whom it was an "honour" to join a legend in the discipline.

"It's a climb against the health pass, which annoys everyone. It is an attack on fundamental freedoms, this pass is a disgrace," Alain Robert said.

A COVID pass — attesting that the holder has either been vaccinated, tested negative for COVID or recently recovered from the infection — is required to access bars, restaurants, museums and other cultural venues as well as mass events and long-distance public transport.

Robert added his latest climb was "also a tribute to Jean-Paul Belmondo, who did his own stunts." The French actor died on Monday at the age of 88.

Alain Robert became famous throughout the world for having climbed more than a hundred skyscrapers and other urban monuments with his bare hands, usually without insurance and above all without authorisation.

In March 2020, he climbed to the top of the Agbar Tower in Barcelona to protest against the "fear" caused by COVID-19.