Charlie Hebdo cartoonist Luz to leave magazine

Renald Luzier Image copyright AFP
Image caption Luz said he thought about leaving some time ago, but continued in solidarity with his colleagues

Charlie Hebdo cartoonist "Luz" who designed the magazine's cover image of Muhammad after the Paris attacks has said he is leaving the publication.

Renald Luzier told the French newspaper Liberation that his job had become "too much to bear" following the deaths of his colleagues.

Twelve people were murdered when two Islamist gunmen burst into the Charlie Hebdo offices on 7 January.

"Each issue is torture because the others are gone," said Luz.

He joined the publication in 1992 and said his resignation was "a very personal choice". He will leave in September.

"Spending sleepless nights summoning the dead, wondering what Charb, Cabu, Honore, Tignous would have done is exhausting," he added.

Finding inspiration

Within days of the attack, the satirical magazine's surviving staff produced an edition with the headline "All is forgiven" above Luz's cartoon of Muhammad holding a sign saying "Je suis Charlie".

Pictorial depictions of Muhammad are considered forbidden by most Muslims.

Charlie Hebdo's lost cartoonists

Image copyright Getty Images

Stephane Charbonnier - "Charb"

Jean Cabut - "Cabu"

Bernard Verlhac - "Tignous"

Georges Wolinski - "Wolin"

Philippe Honore

Obituaries: The 17 who lost their lives in three days of Paris attacks

Last month, Luz announced he would stop drawing images of the Prophet, as it no longer interested him.

He announced his plans to leave on Monday, but said many people were urging him to stay.

"They forget that the worry is finding inspiration," he added.

The magazine, which regularly struggled to make ends meet, is now backed up by tens of millions of euros of funding.

But Luz said in a previous interview that financial security had posed questions about its future editorial direction.

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