A volunteer admits to having started the fire in Nantes cathedral

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PARISA volunteer church attendant confessed to starting the July 18 fire on Sunday that severely damaged a Gothic cathedral in Nantes, western France.

The accused, a 39-year-old man of Rwandan origin, was again arrested and charged.

An investigation into the arson – which usually carries a 10-year prison sentence – was opened last week after finding out that the fire had started at three different locations in Saint-Pierre-et-Saint Cathedral -Paul, that the volunteer had locked up. the night before.

He was held for questioning but released the next day without charge.

While the early morning fire was brought under control by 104 firefighters who managed to save its main structure, the priceless organ of the 17th century church was completely destroyed.

The adjacent wooden choir stalls were also heavily damaged and many of the original stained glass windows were smashed beyond repair.

The cathedral had been partially destroyed in 1944 during World War II. A fire also broke out in 1972 which consumed the old roof. It was then rebuilt with concrete reinforcements.

The motivation for the crime is not yet known; however, according to Radio France International, the man had received an order to leave the country. He had been living in France since 2012.

“My client cooperated. He bitterly regrets his actions and the confession was a relief to him, ”Quentin Chabert, the man’s lawyer, told local newspaper Presse Ocean. “He is consumed with remorse and overwhelmed by the scale of events. ”

The government says it will ensure the restoration of the cathedral.

The fire occurred 15 months after a devastating fire at Notre-Dame Cathedral in the capital Paris.

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