A suicide in Notre Dame Cathedral, of Paris has forced evacuations of the 850 year old landmark. At approximately 4 pm, Dominique Venner, age 78, stood next to the main alter, put a gun in his mouth, and pulled the trigger.
Venner has been outspoken recently, arguing against same-sex marriage. President Francois Hollande recently signed a bill into law, allowing same-sex marriage in France. The new law was supported my many French residents. However, there are others who continue to protest the legislation.
As reported by BBC, Venner chose not to speak before his suicide in the Notre Dame Cathedral. Authorities recovered a suicide note, but have not released the contents. Venner’s last blog posting, made hours before his death, may explain his shocking decision.
Speaking of same-sex marriage, Venner states:
“New spectacular and symbolic actions are needed to wake up the sleep walkers and shake the anaesthetised [sic] consciousness. We are entering a time when acts must follow words.”
Notre Dame Cathedral is “the most visited landmark in France,” and sees over 13 million tourists each year. Fortunately, security has never been an issue. As this is the second suicide in Paris, in the last week, residents are unnerved.
Last week, a mentally unstable man shot himself in front of the Eiffel Tower. That incident was especially tragic, as it was witnessed by a group of young children.
As reported by NotreDamedeParis.fr, construction of the Notre Dame cathedral began in 1163, in the presence of Pope Alexander III. The cathedral is built in Gothic architectural style, and features an impressive façade. As with many historic European cathedrals, the construction may never be fully complete. Revisions, additions, and repairs, virtually guarantee that it will remain a work in progress.
The unfortunate suicide in Notre Dame Cathedral casts a shadow on Paris today. However, the cathedral will remain one of the most beloved landmarks in Europe.
[Image via Wikimedia]