Major fire at Nantes cathedral under control; pipe organ destroyed

Paris By Amelie Richter,- A fire that broke out at a 15th-century Gothic cathedral in the French city of Nantes on Saturday morning has been brought under control, with damage limited to the church's large pipe organ.

The organ was "completely destroyed," and the platform on which it sits is unstable and on the verge of collapse, said the head of the local fire department, Laurent Ferlay.

According to media reports, over 100 firefighters were deployed to the Cathedral of Saint Pierre and Saint Paul to extinguish the blaze.
In a video posted by firefighters, flames can be seen through the church's front windows while smoke pours out of them.
According to the Nantes diocese, the church had also caught fire in 1972, destroying its roof. After restoration work, the church, which bleongs to the French late Gothic style, reopened its doors in 1985.
In 2015, a spectacular fire destroyed the basilica of another church in Nantes, the Basilica of Saint Donatian and Saint Rogatian.
Saturday's fire comes a little more than a year after the Notre Dame Cathedral in the capital, Paris, caught fire, destroying the roof of the 12th-century Gothic cathedral as well as its 93-metre-high spire.
French President Emmanuel Macron expressed his support for firefighters saving this "Gothic jewel," while Prime Minister Jean Castex said he would travel to Nantes on Saturday to see the damage.


Sunday, July 19th 2020
By Amelie Richter

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