International

Church volunteer confesses to starting fire at Nantes Cathedral

In this image provided by SDIS 44 Department of Fire and Rescue, fire fighters work to extinguish the blaze at the Gothic St. Peter and St. Paul Cathedral, in Nantes, western France, Saturday, July 18, 2020.

In this image provided by SDIS 44 Department of Fire and Rescue, fire fighters work to extinguish the blaze at the Gothic St. Peter and St. Paul Cathedral, in Nantes, western France, Saturday, July 18, 2020.   | Photo Credit: AP

The restoration of the building will take at least three years, the chief architect for France's historical monuments, Pascal Prunet, has said

A Rwandan refugee who volunteered as a warden at France's 15th-century Nantes cathedral has confessed to setting the blaze that gutted its interior a week ago, his lawyer said on Sunday.

The suspect, whose name has not been made public, was taken into custody on Saturday following his confession. He had been arrested and released earlier in the investigation.

“With these confessions, there's a kind of relief,” his lawyer, Quentin Chabert, told a news conference on Sunday. “It was important for him, with this cooperation, to show his sincerity.” Asked why his client had set the fires, Chabert declined to elaborate.

General view of fire at the Cathedral of Saint Pierre and Saint Paul in Nantes, in Nantes, France, July 18, 2020 in this picture grab obtained from a social media video.

General view of fire at the Cathedral of Saint Pierre and Saint Paul in Nantes, in Nantes, France, July 18, 2020 in this picture grab obtained from a social media video.   | Photo Credit: REUTERS

The July 18 blaze engulfed the inside of the Gothic structure of the Cathedral of Saint Peter and Saint Paul, destroying its grand organ, stained-glass windows and a painting.

Fires started in three different places within the building, with no sign of a break-in, authorities said. The restoration of the building will take at least three years, the chief architect for France's historical monuments, Pascal Prunet, has said.

Recommended for you
This article is closed for comments.
Please Email the Editor

Printable version | Aug 5, 2020 1:20:21 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/international/church-volunteer-confesses-to-starting-fire-at-nantes-cathedral/article32200433.ece

Next Story