Alain Robert, a French stuntman known for climbing tall buildings, scaled the north face of the New York Times building on Thursday, ascending 52 stories to the roof and clutching a bright green banner, before police officers arrested him around 12:22 p.m.
Police and security officials cordoned off the sidewalk below, on West 41st Street, as a crowd assembled. The words on the banner were illegible from the sidewalk, but from office windows inside the tower the slogan on the banner could be clearly read: “Global warming kills more people than 9/11 every week.”
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Mr. Robert was taken down through the service elevator to an underground service area of the building. A reporter asked why he had chosen The Times’s building. His reply: “This is a green building, which is a fantastic step.” He proceeded to talk about global warming as the police led him away. He said he believed the news media would give more prominence to coverage of global warming if a man climbed a prominent building.
Asked about the difficulty of the climb, he replied: “No, the building was easy. It was just a statement. Plus, I’m a professional climber.”“Climbing is my passion, my philosophy of life,” Mr. Robert states on his Web site, adding, “Although I suffer from vertigo, although my accidents left me disabled up to 60 percent, I have become the best solo climber.” The Web site states that in eight years, Mr. Robert has climbed more than “70 skyscrapers and mythical monuments around the world.”
He added: “My name is Alain Robert. I did climb about 80 buildings around the world and I climbed even the five tallest.” . . .