French "Spiderman," Alain Robert, Hits Havana

8:46 AM, Feb 5, 2013   |    comments
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The French "Spiderman," famous for scaling buildings all over the world without safety equipment, conquered his latest feat Monday when he climbed the 413-foot tall Havana Libre Hotel in the Cuban capital.

Hundreds of curious bystanders gathered in the street below to watch Alain Robert, better known as the French Spiderman, climb the 25-stories to the top of the emblematic hotel.
At just 110 lbs., the svelte Robert wowed the crowd as he hoisted himself up the side of the building. 

Robert said before the climb that his toughest challenge with the structure, which is much shorter than other buildings he has conquered, was going to be contending with damage and erosion to the building. He was able to reach the top in just 30 minutes.

Robert was given the "Spiderman" nickname after climbing the Sears Tower - now the Willis Tower - in Chicago in 1999. The building is the tallest in the United States and was the tallest building in the world from 1973 until it was surpassed in 1998 by the Petronas Towers in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

Robert shocked the world when he reached the top of the current tallest manmade structure, the Burj Khalifa in Dubai, at 2,717 feet in 2011.

He said he chose the hotel because of its historical significance.
It once served as the offices for former Cuban President Fidel Castro in 1959 and 50-year-old 

Robert said he appreciates the history.

Robert first climbed a building at age 12 when he got locked out of his apartment and decided to mount the eight stories up to an open window. He has since climbed more than 80 buildings around the world.

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