Monday, November 9, 2009

Tightrope walking across the Twin Towers

Obsessed with tall buildings as I currently am, I found this old story quite interesting:

In 1974, French Philippe Petit did a tightrope walk across the 43m gap between the Twin Towers of the then recently opened World Trade Center in New York. To accomplish this "artistic crime of the century", he spent 6 years researching the towers, including several incognito visits to the roof and aerial reconnaissance while the buildings were still under construction.

On the night of August 6, 1974, Petit and his team snuck on the roof and managed to attach the tightrope by means of shooting a fishing line from one tower to the other with a bow, then passing larger and larger ropes until they could fasten the 220 kg tightrope. In the morning of August 7, Petit spent nearly one hour walking, dancing and prancing on the tightrope, to the clear amazement of a crowd on the ground and the policemen that were sent to arrest him.

Even though he was arrested on the spot, Petit was credited as having brought much-needed publicity to the rather unpopular World Trade Center, and all formal charges against him were dropped. A documentary on Petit titled Man on Wire won the Academy Award for Best Documentary in 2008.

Philippe Petit - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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