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Suicide at Paris cathedral

A man who committed suicide by shooting himself at the altar of Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris has been named as a well-known former far-right activist. Dominique Venner, 78, was a historian known in France for his far-right political essays

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Le Pen praises Dominque Venner after his suicide

Far-right National Front leader Marine Le Pen, who scored nearly a fifth of the first-round vote in the 2012 presidential election, has paid tribute to Dominique Venner on Twitter, saying his suicide was a political gesture aimed at "waking up the French people".

Far-right National Front leader Marine Le Pen has paid tribute to Dominique Venner. Credit: Reuters

Venner - a 78-year-old French far-right activist - committed suicide at the altar of the Notre Dame cathedral today, three days after a law legalising same-sex marriage came into effect.

Police evacuated the cathedral, one of Paris' biggest tourist draws, after Venner - a historian known for his hard-right political essays and a fierce opponent of gay marriage - shot himself, sending tourists fleeing in panic.

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