By Stephen M. Silverman
Updated June 18, 2002 01:00 AM
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Paris has been called the City of Lights and the City of Love, but now it could also be called the City of Stunts. Reuters reports that on Tuesday, a Frenchman named Alain Robert, who has conquered some of the world’s tallest buildings devoid of any climbing tools or safety equipment, outfitted himself in a red and blue Spider-Man bodysuit and scaled a Paris skyscraper. No, not the Eiffel Tower, though the 39-year-old has climbed that in the past. This time it was the 490-foot Franklin Tower, which he approached and successfully climbed in an early morning ascent. (New York’s Empire State Building and San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge are other Robert conquests, says Reuters, noting that he is no stranger to arrests for trespassing.) “The character of Spider-Man is interesting because he is a hero of the modern age, a kind of new Robin Hood,” Robert told reporters. “I can tell you that I share the same kind of philosophy as Spider-Man, if a comic-book character can be said to have a philosophy.” They may share the same philosophy, but not the same technique. Whereas Tobey Maguire in the movie “Spider-Man” quickly swung through Manhattan on a web of his own making, Robert used only his hands and feet and took about half an hour to do his job. A small crowd of observers reportedly applauded and cheered when he reached the top, and Robert signed some autographs upon returning to the ground. Just another day at work for a superhero.