'French Spiderman' climbs Paris skyscraper harness-free

PARIS (Reuters) - Dubbed the “French Spiderman”, Alain Robert scaled a skyscraper in Paris on Monday without a harness to raise funds for the renovation of Notre-Dame cathedral.

Television images showed the 56-year-old using horizontal struts running up the Engie headquarters’ curved facade and a protruding structure going top-to-bottom of the 185-metre (607 feet) glass-fronted building in La Defense business district

Robert halted regularly to chalk his hands.

He was arrested shortly after competing the climb.

“Because there’s no money left in the government coffers, the cathedral is falling into disrepair,” he told Reuters ahead of the climb. His sponsors were writing a cheque of 5,000 euros ($5,650) to help finance the renovations, he added.

During the stunt, bystanders at the bottom pointed smartphones toward clear blue skies as whispy clouds raced overheard in blustery winds.

Robert has climbed more than 100 structures including the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco and Burj al Khalifa in Dubai, as well as the same tower in Paris in 2016.

The Archbishop of Paris is on a drive to raise more than 100 million euros to save Notre-Dame’s crumbling gargoyles and gothic arches.

(This story corrects day to Monday)

Reporting by Reuters TV; Writing by Richard Lough; Editing by Andrew Cawthorne