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Climber Who Shut Down Eiffel Tower Was Russian – Reports

The man who climbed halfway up the Eiffel Tower on Monday, forcing its evacuation, turned out to be a Russian national who is seeking asylum in France, French media have reported.

Rescuers successfully talked the man down and handed him over to police Monday, six hours after he scaled the upper heights of the Eiffel Tower. 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 324-meter tower, leading to hundreds of visitors being evacuated.

The climber is a Russian asylum seeker, the French news station BFMTV reported Tuesday, citing an unnamed source familiar with the investigation.

The Europe 1 radio station reported that the unidentified man spoke English before switching to Russian.

Earlier, police told Agence France Presse that they did not know the man’s motive for climbing up one of the country’s biggest tourist attractions.

The Russian Embassy in Paris said Tuesday that French authorities had not informed it of the incident.

Reuters contributed reporting to this article.

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