Man filmed in dangerous climb up tallest belfry in Belgium
Monday, 26 August 2019
Belfry of Ghent. Credit: bvi4092/Flickr (CC BY 2.0)
An unidentified man completed a risky feat on Sunday after he was spotted some 90 metres up the belfry of Ghent, the tallest building of its kind in Belgium.
Footage released on local media shows a man dressed in all black moving nimbly just below the spire of the belfry, walking on and latching onto the tower’s edges using nothing other than his hands.
The incident was reported by bystanders to police, but the climber was gone before the police made it to the scene, according to De Standaard.
“This is completely irresponsible,” Doreen Gaublomme, director of Ghent’s Historical Houses told the outlet.
Gaublomme said that its staff were unaware that the stunt was taking place, and that it was the first time anyone had made the attempt to climb up the belfry, which she said was not there for people to climb up or hang from.
“There is one surveillance guard, but he is making rounds and cannot keep an eye on everything,” she told the outlet.
At 91 metres, the UNESCO-recognised tower is the tallest belfry in Belgium and an iconic element of the Ghent skyline, where it rises alongside the belfries of the Saint Bavo Cathedral and Saint Nicholas’ Church.
“Crawling around on the edge of such an old monument is not safe for anyone,” Chief Inspector Eva Houpels told the Dutch-speaking news site, adding: “We ask people to use their common sense.”