Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris evacuated after suicide inside the landmark church

| May 24, 2013

PARIS — Some 1,500 visitors were cleared out of Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris after a man put a letter on the altar of the 850-year-old monument Tuesday, pulled out a gun and shot himself in the head.

It’s the first suicide in decades at the landmark site, Monsignor Patrick Jacquin, the cathedral’s rector, told The Associated Press.

“It’s unfortunate, it’s dramatic, it’s shocking,” Jacquin said. The motives for the suicide, and the contents of the man’s letter, were unclear.

The Paris prosecutor’s office identified the man as 78-year-old Dominique Venner.

Venner’s blog describes him as a historian and essayist, and includes description of his involvement in the campaign against France’s new law authorizing gay marriage. In some posts he criticizes “massive immigration” and what he describes as encroaching Islam; others include historical analysis of revolution or American-European relations.

It says he fought with French forces against Algerian independence fighters a half-century ago in a war that ended with France losing its most prized colony.

 

http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/europe/police-notre-dame-cathedral-in-paris-evacuated-after-suicide-inside-the-landmark-church/2013/05/21/202b2710-c227-11e2-9642-a56177f1cdf7_story.html

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Category: Church Security

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