Rwandan refugee admits starting Nantes cathedral fire

A church volunteer has admitted starting a fire that devastated the cathedral in the French city of Nantes last week, his lawyer has said. The Rwandan refugee, who worked as a warden at the cathedral, was rearrested on Saturday night. No motive for the fire, which destroyed the cathedral’s 17th Century organ as well as historic stained-glass windows, has been given. His lawyer told reporters his client felt “relief” after confessing. “It’s someone who is scared, who is somehow overwhelmed,” his lawyer, Quentin Chabert, was quoted as saying by Reuters news agency. The 39-year-old volunteer, who has not been named, was initially detained for questioning after the blaze but then released without charge. He had been in charge of locking up the Saint-Pierre-et-Saint-Paul cathedral the day before the blaze on 18 July. Officials had previously said that the fire was believed to have been arson and had been started in three different places. Nantes prosecutor Pierre Sennes said on Saturday that the man had been charged with “destruction and damage by fire” and could face up to 10 years in prison and €150,000 ($175,000; £135,000) in fines, according to the AFP news agency. Around 100 firefighters managed to stop the flames from destroying the main structure at the cathedral. French Prime Minister Jean Castex praised their “professionalism, courage and self-control”. The fire comes about 15 months after a blaze nearly destroyed Notre-Dame Cathedral in Paris. Source: BBC]]>

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