© ReutersVisitors walk in the gardens of the Elysée Palace in Paris, the official state home of President Francois Hollande, on Saturday. The next day a man wielding a gun tried to break into the building.
Security has been stepped up around French president Francois Hollande after a gun-wielding man tried to break into the Elysée Palace. The would-be intruder, who has not been named, was arrested at the gates of the head of state's official Paris home on Sunday afternoon.

It led to fears that the 30-year-old was trying to mimic an attempt on the life of former French president Jacques Chirac a decade ago.

© EPAMr Hollande and his companion Valerie Trierweiler leave the palace to greet the public on Saturday, which was Bastille Day in France. Every year on July 14, the Elysée Palace is open to visitors.

© APWalkabout: Mr Hollande shakes hands with guests in the palace gardens as part of Bastille Day celebrations.

Referring to the latest incident, in which no-one was hurt, a police source in the French capital said: 'The man was carrying a gun, which turned out to be a replica 7.65mm pistol.

'He was carrying false papers, and provided no motive for what he did. He remains in custody, and the Paris prosecutors' office has recommended that he receives psychiatric care.

'In the meantime, security has certainly been tightened around the President.'

The French were celebrating their national Bastille Day holiday at the weekend - a time traditionally associated with attempted attacks on politicians.

Many who attended the military parade in the Champs Elysée on Saturday commented on what appeared to be lax security around Mr Hollande, a down-to-earth Socialist who styles himself as 'Mr Normal'.

At one stage he mingled with members of a crowd who had not undergone any kind of security checks.

© ReutersUp close and personal: Mr Hollande is kissed by supporters in the gardens. Many commented on the lax security surrounding the president.
© ReutersFlashback: The incident led to fears that the man was trying to mimic an attempt by Maxime Brunerie, pictured being arrested, on the life of former French president Jacques Chirac in 2002.
© ReutersAssassination attempt: Brunerie pulled a gun from a guitar case and got a shot off as Mr Chirac (standing, left) was driven by in an open-topped jeep.
Mr Hollande was away from the Elysée Palace on Sunday when the attempted break-in happened, but was kept fully informed about what occurred.

In 2002, Maxime Brunerie, a 25-year-old management student and neo-Nazi, tried to assassinate Mr Chirac during the annual Bastille Day parade.

He pulled a gun from a guitar case and got a shot off as Mr Chirac was driven by in an open-topped jeep, but the would-be killer was restrained by onlookers.

Brunerie later admitted that he had been depressed and was seeking infamy as the murderer of a famous politician.

He was found guilty of attempted murder, receiving a relatively light ten-year sentence on the grounds of diminished responsibility. He was freed in 2009, after serving seven years.