A famous far-right historian and anti-gay marriage activist has shot himself inside Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris, at around 4pm local time today (21 May).
Dominique Venner, 78, committed suicide in front of several tourists in the renowned French temple of Christianity.
Police confirmed the suicide, but Venner’s reasons are still unknown.
The cathedral was also evacuated. A letter was found on Venner’s body, but its content has not been revealed.
Venner posted a note on his blog last May, criticizing President FranÃ§ois Hollande’s law allowing same-sex marriage.
Some pupils and one teacher at a private school in Paris witnessed the events and are now being treated by a team of psychologists.
He was an award-winning historian, journalist and essayist. Formerly a militant of the far right, he later became a European nationalist.
In the last years he focused on a career as a historian. He specialized in military and political history.
At the time of his death, today, he was the editor of the La Nouvelle Revue d’Histoire, a bimonthly history magazine.
The Cathedral of Notre Dame receives 14 million tourists each year, having a rich 850-year history.