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Man seen climbing London's Shard skyscraper without harness

Posted at 7:02 AM, Jul 08, 2019

Anyone can take the lift to the top of the Shard tower to get great views over London, but one man decided to add some extra excitement to his visit.

Eyewitness video shows a figure climbing up the outside of the 1,017-foot glass tower -- the European Union's tallest building -- on Monday, and local police say he did it without a harness.

The Metropolitan Police said they were called at 5.15 a.m. local time after reports of a "free-climber" scaling the skyscraper.

"Emergency services attended and the man went inside the building where he was spoken to by officers," the police department tweeted . "He was not arrested."

This isn't the Shard's first brush with free-climbers. In July 2013, six women were arrested after scaling it in protest at oil drilling in the Arctic.

The protesters, who were from environmental group Greenpeace, undertook the climb to draw attention to oil company Shell's plans to drill in Alaska and Russia.

Tourists can get to the top of the tower using the lift for £27 ($34).

The building is estimated to be worth as much as £2.5 billion and houses Al Jazeera's studios, the upscale Shangri-La Hotel and South Hook, a major natural gas importer.

The Shard may be the tallest building in London but it's made to look small by the world's tallest building, Burj Khalifa in Dubai, which stands at 2,717 feet.

And both these behemoths will be dwarfed by the Kingdom Tower in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. Originally planned by architect Adrian Smith to reach 5,250 feet, the tower is now likely to be 3,280 feet when it's completed in 2020.

Monday's incident is just the latest instance of a climber being unable to resist the allure of a tall building.

In October 2018, famed free-climber Alain Robert scaled the 755-foot Salesforce Tower in London, surprising office workers.

Robert has previously climbed a number of the world's best-known skyscrapers, including the Burj Khalifa and the Petronas Towers in Kuala Lumpur.