9/11 anniversary: Philippe Petit, man who walked high-wire between Twin Towers, reflects on how the terror attacks changed his view of the buildings
Source:INDEPENDENT Author:Jack Shepherd Date: 2018-09-13 Size:
Philippe Petit’s legacy will forever be linked to the Twin Towers……

Philippe Petit ( AP )

Philippe Petit’s legacy will forever be linked to the Twin Towers; the buildings the aerialist walked a high-wire between.

Seventeen years on from the terrorist attack that led to the destruction of the towers, Petit has spoken about his daredevil stunt in relation to the catastrophic event.

Over the course of several months in 1974, Petit – who was the subject of the documentary Man on Wire – became obsessed with the Twin Towers and their architecture, hoping to learn everything about them.

“I would call them ‘my towers’ because I was – day and night – learning from them and getting information and blueprints and articles to get to know the towers,” he told Inside Edition.

“After all those years and months of studying them for my illegal walk, of course they were ‘my towers’ and that’s how my friends would refer to them.”

Petit successfully got a wire between the structures on the 7 August that year and walked between them eight times. Despite police officers calling for him to get down, he only stopped when it started to rain.

Looking back now, Petit and his co-conspirators no longer call them “my towers”.

On the 11 September 2001, the high-wire artist was sitting in his New York apartment, unaware of what was going on as he did not have a television. Only when a friend called to say “Philippe, your towers are being destroyed!” did he go outside to look at the destruction.

“I looked at the sky because I knew there was a plane involved and it was a magnificent day and I knew — my intuition was this is not an airplane accident — it was something else,” he said. “So I ran to my friends at the top of the hill and I sat in front of the television like millions of other people and I saw my towers being attacked and destroyed and taking with them thousands of lives.

“So [I decided] from that day I will stop saying ‘my towers’ — I will say ‘our towers.’”

Petit adds that he’s often asked how he felt watching the towers collapse: “How can I answer that question when on the other side of that event you have thousands of lives that were lost? You cannot compare losing a marvel of architecture and losing human lives.”

[Editor] 张艳

    Artintern