Two tourists arrested for climbing atop Brazil's 'Christ the Redeemer'

Two tourists are arrested for climbing on top of Brazil’s Christ the Redeemer statue to watch the sun rise

  • Clement Dumais, 28, and Paul Roux-dit-Buisson, 27, climbed the statue Sunday
  • They then snuck inside the statue at night and climbed up to see the sunrise
  • Brazilian authorities detained the two men after a security guard spotted them
  • ‘We were able to get inside the skin of Christ’ said Paul Roux-Dit-Buisson
  • ‘Urban climbing’ or ‘rooftopping’ has has gained popularity in recent years
  •  But there are dozens of reported deaths from the practice each year

Brazilian authorities have detained two French men who climbed on top of the iconic Christ the Redeemer statue to watch the sunset while the monument was closed.

Clement Dumais, 28, and Paul Roux-dit-Buisson, 27, entered the site of the towering 125 foot monument on Sunday evening and hid until closing time. 

They then snuck inside the statue under cover of night, climbed a long spiral staircase and came out through a hatch on one of the arms to enjoy the view of the city and Guanabara Bay. The statue’s outstretched arms span 91 feet.

The adventure ended when one of the security guards at the site noticed the men, who had no choice but to surrender to the authorities once they had climbed down.

Clement Dumais, 28, was detained by Brazilian authorities along with Paul Roux-Dit-Buisson, 27 after climbing atop the Christ the Redeemer statue overlooking Rio de Janeiro

The men have a history of performing outrageous stunts and climbing to dizzying heights in urban landscapes (pictured: Paul Roux-Dit-Buisson)

The Christ the Redeemer statue is situated on Sugarloaf mountain and overlooks Rio de Janeiro. It is one of the country’s most popular tourist attractions and receives over two million visits per year

‘The view was nice. Few people get a chance to see that,’ Roux-dit-Buisson said. ‘We were able to get inside the skin of Christ.’

‘We were standing on the arms and the head and a security officer saw us,’ Roux-dit-Buisson said.

The two men were detained on Monday and released after posting 10,000 reais (£1,390) in bail. The two will now have to appear before a judge.

Tourism police in Rio de Janeiro declined to comment, saying they were looking into the incident.

The two men from Paris, France, have a history of performing outrageous stunts and climbing to dizzying heights in urban landscapes.

They have staged similar feats at iconic architectural sites in locations such as Dubai, New York, and Paris and documented their adventures on social media, where they have gained hundreds of thousands of followers.

Police have confiscated all the photos and videos the men had taken while on top of the Rio statue, but the climbers say they have no regrets.

‘The view was nice. Few people get a chance to see that,’ Roux-dit-Buisson said. ‘We were able to get inside the skin of Christ.’

The Christ the Redeemer statue, which will mark its 90th anniversary in October, was recently renovated with the help of professional climbers, who worked above the void in harnesses. In 1991 and in 2010, the statue was vandalized with graffiti.

Along with the Sugarloaf Mountain, the iconic statue, located at the top of Corcovado Hill, is the most visited site in the tourist capital of Brazil, with nearly two million visits a year.

The Christ the Redeemer statue, which will mark its 90th anniversary in October, was recently renovated with the help of professional climbers, who worked above the void in harnesses

‘Urban climbing’ or ‘rooftopping’ has has gained popularity in recent years thanks to social media, where the explorers share their daring stunts and adventures.    

Though not always illegal, urban climbers and rooftoppers are well-known for accessing parts of buildings and structures which are off-limits to the general public, typically at a great height, before taking photos and footage of the view.

Many urban climbers have gained hundreds of thousands of followers across their social media accounts, but the possibility of fatal injures is high and recent years have seen dozens of documented cases of the thrill seekers plummeting to their deaths from rooftops around the world.

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