A volunteer at Nantes Cathedral has told police that he lit three fires inside the 15th-century building he was entrusted to look after by church authorities.
Nantes cathedral was badly damaged in the arson attack on July 18th, with dramatic images and footage showing fire ripping through the west porch and tower of the “Gothic jewel” of the city, which caused serious internal damage and destroyed the organ.
An arson investigation was launched almost immediately after the two-hour battle by firefighters to save the building, and shortly afterwards a Rwandan immigrant — who was a volunteer at the cathedral and had been responsible for locking up the building the night before — was held and questioned by police. The man was released without charge shortly afterwards.
But now the same — named only as ‘Emmanuel’ in French newspapers — 39-year-old man has been rearrested and has confessed, Le Figaro reports, to arson.
The man, who came to France as a refugee from Rwanda in 2015 or 2016 and was looked after by the church after his arrival, told a magistrate after presenting himself to the police to confess on Saturday night that he lit three fires. Two were in organs, and one was in an electrical control panel.