On Aug. 7, 1974, Frenchman Philippe Petit made headlines when, in the space of 45 minutes, he crossed four times between the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center.
And, he didn’t just walk—the 24-year-old high-wire artist danced and lay down on the wire, too, balance pole in hand.
Whether you look on it as art or pure lunacy, the story, as it unfolds in the 2008 documentary Man on Wire, is an intriguing one that leaves us with more questions than answers.
Breaking and entering the World Trade Center—as Petit and his team had to do at night to set up for the early-morning stunt—was, of course, a criminal act.
Petit’s life-long friend Jean-Louis Blondeau—who had mastered the crossbow in order to shoot the performance wire from the north to the south Tower under cover of darkness—was treated like a common criminal and given his marching orders back to France.
But not so for the tightrope pro…
Following a brief visit to the NYPD, a psychiatric test to prove his sanity, and his commitment to a free performance for children in Central Park, Petit walked out of the cop shop a hero… and has lived in the United States ever since. (The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey even awarded him a lifetime pass to the Observation Deck of the Twin Towers.)
Can you imagine how a stunt like this would be handled by the authorities today? In fact, I can’t imagine any jurisdiction in the world that would dish you out a visa as a reward for some death-defying performance.
But I share this crazy story today to make an important point…
Having at least one backup residency and/or citizenship is something we at LIOS strongly recommend—something that may work to protect you in the future… or, at least, give you options.
Yes, you’re going to have to jump through some …
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