The investigators had wished to hear this Rwandan national on the conditions of closure of the Saint-Pierre-et-Saint-Paul cathedral Friday evening, while the firemen were alerted of the fire Saturday around 7:45 am. “Any interpretation that could involve this person in the commission of the facts is premature and hasty”, warned the prosecutor Sunday morning. Sunday at the beginning of the afternoon, his lawyer Me Quentin Chabert had declared before the steps of the Nantes police station that in the state of the procedure, “there is no element that directly links my client to the fire in the cathedral “.
“An extremely amiable, courteous man, attentive”
The man placed in police custody is used for mass. The organist of the cathedral, Michel Bourcier, 56, explained to AFP on Sunday “very much appreciate this extremely kind, courteous man, attentive and of infinite kindness”, adding “to have fallen from the clouds” in learning his arrest.
An investigation for “arson” was opened by the Nantes prosecutor’s office, in particular because questions arise about the origin of the fire, with “three separate fire points” identified inside the cathedral. The fire on Saturday ravaged a painting by Hippolyte Flandrin and the large organ of this Gothic cathedral, whose construction lasted from the 15th to the 19th century. A little over a year after the trauma of the Notre-Dame de Paris fire, Prime Minister Jean Castex, accompanied on the spot by the Ministers of the Interior, Gérald Darmanin, and of Culture, Roselyne Bachelot, had returned Saturday afternoon tribute “to the dedication and great professionalism” of the hundred or so firefighters mobilized.