A historian has shot himself in the head at the altar inside Notre Dame Cathedral, in central Paris. 78 year old Dominique Venner is known for his right wing publications and essays. Venner placed a letter on the altar before taking his own life. At the time he shot himself the cathedral was full of around 1500 visitors.
The historian had earlier written on his website about the French government’s decision to legalise same-sex marriage and called for “spectacular action”. He called the laws “vile” and added, “There will certainly need to be new, spectacular, symbolic gestures to shake off the sleepiness… and re-awaken the memories of our origins.
“We are reaching a time when words must be backed up with acts.”
The French government formally legalised gay marriage at the weekend, amidst protests from the Catholic church and social conservatives.
The impact of such a dramatic suicide will not be lost on the French people. Notre Dame Cathedral is a powerful symbol in France, and Interior Minister Manuel Valls said “We are fully aware of the repercussions of such an act.”
This is the second dramatic suicide in Paris within a week. A 50 year old man also committed suicide in Paris, near the Eiffel Tower. This suicide occurred inside a primary school in front of a class of traumatised children.
Read More: Sky News