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With Nantes Cathedral In Flames, Officials Suspect Arson


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Chris O'Brien

July 18 2020

Even as firefighters subdued a blaze that broke out Saturday morning at the Cathédrale Saint-Pierre-et-Saint-Paul in Nantes, prosecutors opened an official investigation into possible arson.

According to Le Monde, Nantes’ public prosecutor Pierre Sennès declared that he suspected arson based on the fire’s apparent origins. "The investigation is opened based on the observations made after the discovery of three separate places where the fire ignited,” Sennès said.

The Nantes Cathedral is one of the signature buildings in this city that straddles the Loire River in the Brittany region. Work on the Gothic Church began in 1434 but was not completed until 1862. It has since been listed as a historic monument by the French government.

Sometime after 7 a.m., flames were spotted and firefighters were called to the scene. After several hours, they had put the fire, though smoke could still be seen coming from the structure.

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