90-minute high = 15 days in Chinese jail

SHANGHAI Thu May 31, 2007 7:40am EDT

1 of 3. France's daredevil climber Alain Robert climbs the Jin Mao Tower in Shanghai May 31, 2007. Clad in a Spider-Man costume, French climber Robert on Thursday scaled the 88-storey Jin Mao Tower, China's tallest building, and was met by cheering crowds and Shanghai law enforcement officers on the ground.

Credit: Reuters/Aly Song

SHANGHAI (Reuters) - France's Alain Robert, renowned for climbing the world's tallest buildings, wasn't going to let 15 days in a Chinese jail deter him from an attempt at scaling China's tallest building.

Clad in a Spider-Man costume, the 44-year-old made a barehanded ascent and descent of the 88-storey Jin Mao Tower on Thursday, achieving the feat in 90 minutes.

His feet had barely touched the ground when he was arrested by police.

Robert had decided to mount the iron-and-glass structure without permission after authorities turned down two requests.

"If you obey all the rules, you miss the fun," Robert told Reuters in an interview ahead of his ascent of the 420.5-metre (1,380 foot) tower.

"I've scaled the three tallest buildings in the world, so I reckoned I should also climb the fourth-tallest building. It's like there's something missing."

Robert had consulted lawyers and French diplomats before the attempt and said he expected to face 15 days in custody and a fine of up to 10,000 yuan ($1,300).

In 2001, Chinese shoe salesman Han Qizhi became the first person to scale the Jin Mao Tower. Han, who had happened to walk by the building and acted on a "rash impulse", was detained for about two weeks.

($1=7.648 Yuan)