A Rwandan refugee who volunteered as a warden at France’s 15th-century Nantes cathedral has confessed to setting the blaze that gutted its interior a week ago, his lawyer said on Sunday.
“With these confessions, there’s a kind of relief: it’s someone who is scared, who is somehow overwhelmed,” his lawyer, Quentin Chabert, told a news conference on Sunday.
The suspect, whose name has not been made public, was taken into custody on Saturday following his confession. He had been arrested and released earlier in the investigation.
“With these confessions, there’s a kind of relief: it’s someone who is scared, who is somehow overwhelmed,” his lawyer, Quentin Chabert, added.
The July 18 blaze engulfed the inside of the Gothic structure of the Cathedral of Saint Peter and Saint Paul, destroying its grand organ, stained-glass windows, and painting.
Asked why his client had set the fires, Chabert declined to elaborate.
The Nantes Cathedral is possibly the second-most culturally significant Catholic church in France after the Notre Dame Basilica in Paris and follows Notre Dame in catching fire less than a year after a serious fire caused major damages to the latter.