A man arrested for the fire in Nantes cathedral


PARISA 39-year-old man has been arrested in connection with Saturday’s fire that broke out at Nantes cathedral in western France, the city’s prosecutor said.

The man, of Rwandan origin, was taken into custody for questioning on Saturday afternoon, Pierre Sennes told Radio France International on Sunday.

A volunteer at the Gothic church responsible for its closure on Friday night, the man was said to have been the last person in the building.

Sennes said they were pinning the man’s calendar due to apparent contradictions, but cautioned against the judgment. “Any interpretation that could implicate this person is premature,” he told reporters.

Quentin Chabert, the man’s lawyer, said, “There is no evidence at this point to link my client to the fire. ”

The 15th-century church fire broke out at 8 a.m. on Saturday and took more than 100 firefighters to put out about two hours.

An arson investigation quickly found three ignition points inside the church.

Visiting the site on Saturday, Prime Minister Jean Castex said “the state will play a major role” in the reconstruction of the cathedral “as quickly as possible”.

Noting the damage, Father François Renaud declared that the great organ of the cathedral had been completely destroyed.

“The original stained glass behind the great organ has all shattered,” he told Radio France International, calling it “unimaginable loss”.

The cathedral had been partially destroyed in 1944 by Allied bombardments, and a fire in 1972 had emptied its old roof.

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