Rivas lifts weights on a balcony on the 28th floor of the «Tower of David» skyscraper in Caracas

Михаил Левин

Gabriel Rivas, 30, lifts weights on a balcony on the 28th floor of the «Tower of David» skyscraper in Caracas February 9, 2014. It boasts a helicopter landing pad, glorious views of the Avila mountain range, and large balconies for weekend barbecues. Yet a 45-storey skyscraper in the center of Venezuela’s capital Caracas is no five-star hotel or swanky apartment block: it is a slum, probably the highest in the world. Dubbed the «Tower of David», the building was intended to be a shining new financial center but was abandoned around 1994 after the death of its developer — banker and horse-breeder David Brillembourg — and the collapse of the financial sector. Squatters invaded the huge concrete skeleton in 2007, then-president Hugo Chavez’s socialist government turned a blind eye, and now about 3,000 people call the tower their home. Picture taken February 9, 2014. REUTERS/Jorge Silva (VENEZUELA — Tags: SOCIETY POVERTY BUSINESS) ATTENTION EDITORS: PICTURE 17 OF 35 FOR PACKAGE ‘VENEZUELA’S SKYSCRAPER SLUM’ TO FIND ALL IMAGES SEARCH ‘TOWER OF DAVID’ — RTR3JLNB
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