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Last Updated: Tuesday, 1 April 2003, 18:50 GMT 19:50 UK
High-rise anti-war stunt in Paris
Frenchman Alain Robert climbs office building in Paris with "No War" sign on his tee-shirt
Robert said he wanted to protest against the "illegal" Iraqi conflict
A stuntman who calls himself "Spiderman" has climbed one of the French capital's tallest buildings in an unusual protest against the conflict in Iraq.

Wearing a "No War" sign on his tee-shirt, Frenchman Alain Robert made his way up the 180m (590 ft) TotalFinaElf skyscraper in the La Defense business centre watched by a nervous crowd of bystanders and police.

He was cheered when he got to the top 45 minutes later, but police later escorted him from the building.

Mr Robert - who has climbed some of the world's tallest structures, always with bare hands - said the stunt was a demonstration of his anger at what he called an "illegal" war being waged in Iraq by British and US forces.

"I have no time for Saddam Hussein who has killed many civilians, but when it comes to Iraq I can see right from wrong," he told the French news agency AFP beforehand, and also dismissed US President George W Bush as "an outlaw".

Well-known exploits

Onlookers were more circumspect, but said they admired his nerve.

"It's as mad as the war itself," one woman told Reuters news agency.

"I think it'll take more than this to make an impression on Bush and Blair, but it's good all the same. It makes you think."

Mr Robert is well known for his death-defying exploits.

He has scaled some of the tallest buildings in the world, including the Sears Tower in the US city of Chicago, the Empire State Building in New York and the Eiffel Tower in Paris.

He has been arrested and charged for his exploits on numerous occasions.

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