Siege at museum as man barricades himself inside with Arabic messages on walls

A museum is on lockdown after at least one man infiltrated the building and wrote "disturbing" Arabic messages on the walls.

Police have raided Archaeological Museum of Saint-Raphael in the coastal town in the southeast of France.

The suspect has written "disturbing" Arabic messages on walls, according to local reports.

These are said to evoke "the museum and hell".

It is unclear if the man has weapons and hostages.

"We must remain very cautious because we do not have at the moment any information on his motivation, we would be more faced with an imbalance," a police spokesman said.

Officers will brief the media further in the next hour.

It is understood the housekeeper arrived at work this morning to find she was unable to access the building.

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She subsequently called the police.

"Police operation at Rue de la Vieille Eglise in St Raphael. Difficult traffic conditions. Avoid the area", the Var police department said on Twitter after arriving at the museum.

The small attraction features a medieval church, insights into underwater archeology and various crypts.

Saint-Raphael itself is a cultural and historical centre near the France-Italy border.

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