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Last updated: October 24, 2012
First published: October 24, 2012
Article written by Brett M. Christensen
About Brett Christensen and Hoax-Slayer
According to messages that come with the above picture, which is circulating rapidly via social media, the Spiderman costumed windows cleaners are working on a children's hospital and donned the costumes as a way of entertaining the hospital's patients. This version does not provide a location for the hospital, although one Twitter version claims that the pictured children's hospital is in London.
The photograph itself is genuine. However, the building in the picture is not a children's hospital. In fact, the "Spiderman" cleaners are working on the Sheraton Hotel in Shanghai, China. The picture was taken in 2008 and was featured in various news articles at the time. An April 2008 post about the event on the Caterer and Hotelkeeper website notes:
A five-star hotel in China has become a tourist attraction after it dressed its window cleaners in Spider-Man costumes to make them less annoying to guests.
Bosses at the Shanghai Sheraton Hotel were worried that the week-long cleaning would annoy guests and came up with the idea of dressing up the cleaners instead to make the job more entertaining for visitors.
despite the caption, the cleaners have no connection to a children's hospital at all.
Ironically, however, kind-hearted window cleaning crews have indeed donned superhero costumes at children's hospitals in various locations in the USA and Britain in efforts to lift the spirits of the young patients inside. Recently, cleaners at a children's hospital in Memphis and in Pittsburgh dressed as various superheroes to surprise and entertain the children. A 23 October 2012 article on TribLive notes:
The patients at Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh were barely awake Monday morning when the first ropes unfurled from the roof 12 floors up.
But when window washers clad as superheroes rappelled down the brick facades along Penn Avenue and 45th Street in Lawrenceville, little eyes were wide open.
The following video shows the Pittsburgh crew in action at the hospital:
So, to reiterate, such superhero window cleaning events do sometimes take place at children's hospitals around the world but the picture in the above message does not show one of these events.
Does a London children’s hospital employ Spider-Man window cleaners?
Spiderman washes Sheraton windows in Shanghai
Spider-Man cleans windows at Shanghai hotel
SUPERHEROES DROP IN TO WINDOW CLEAN
Spider-Man window washers cheer hospitalized kids
Comic book heroes lift spirits, fight grime at Children’s Hospital