Eiffel Tower climber in custody after daring ascent

An unidentified man (L) climbs the Eiffel Tower, which had to be evacuated, in Paris, France, May 20, 2019. REUTERS/Charles Platiau

PARIS (Reuters) – Rescuers successfully talked down a man who scaled the upper heights of the Eiffel Tower on Monday, forcing the monument’s evacuation, and handed him over to police.

Television channels ran live shots as rescuers perched on the 324-metre (1,063-foot) tower’s wrought-iron struts, just below the highest viewing platform, tried to persuade the unknown man to give himself up.

The tower’s operator said he had entered the monument normally before climbing over the safety fencing on the second level and clambering up the outside of the tower.

“At 21:30, Paris firefighters succeeded in reasoning with the individual and he is now in the hands of the competent authorities,” the operator said.

Police cordoned off several streets closest to the tower as crowds of onlookers gazed up at the perilous operation which began mid-afternoon.

The lattice tower, named after its designer and builder Gustave Eiffel, is one of the world’s most recognizable landmarks. It was constructed between 1887 and 1889 and is as high as an 81-storey building.

The Eiffel Tower will re-open on Tuesday.

Reporting by Sophie Louet and Richard Lough; Editing by Andrew Cawthorne and James Dalgleish

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