Anti-Semitic graffiti was found scrawled on a wall in the grounds of Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris today.
Police cordoned off part of the esplanade in front of the cathedral which draws thousands of tourists each day.
The graffiti, written in black marker, included a swastika. It was on a low wall that runs along the side of the cathedral facing the Seine River. Three stones of the wall had been dislodged, police said.
Paris Mayor Bertrand Delanoe said he was “saddened and sickened” by the anti-Semitic vandalism.
“I deeply hope that those responsible for this new insult to the values of our civilisation will be quickly identified and severely sanctioned,” the mayor said.
Earlier this week vandals scrawled anti-Semitic graffiti on about 60 tombstones in a cemetery in the southeastern city of Lyon. Similar graffiti also covered a Second World War monument to Jewish soldiers at the entrance to La Mouche cemetery.
Signs of anti-Semitism have increased in France in recent years, sometimes coinciding with rising tensions between Israelis and Palestinians.
Young Muslims have been blamed for some attacks, but Muslim cemeteries have also been desecrated.