Paris's Notre Dame Cathedral has been evacuated after a far-right historian shot himself dead in front of the main altar, according to a police source.
The man was reported to be Dominique Venner, 78, who is known in France for his far-right political essays.
He reportedly had a letter on him but said nothing before he shot himself. The motives for the suicide and the contents of the letter were not yet clear.
However, a note posted on his blog dated May 21 criticised a law passed by the Socialist government last week allowing same-sex marriages.