Nantes [France], July 18 (Sputnik/ANI): A violent blaze has completely destroyed an almost 400-year-old organ in the Cathedral of St. Peter and St. Paul in the western French city of Nantes, media said on Saturday.
The ornate organ was installed at the cathedral in 1621 and had survived the French revolution, wars and a devastating fire that ripped through the Gothic temple in 1972.
The fire started at the base of the great organ, according to early assessments made by the city's prosecutors and cited by the BFM TV news channel.
Two other points of ignition have been identified at the sides of the cathedral's main building, called naves, leading investigators to suspect an arson attempt.
"A probe has been opened on suspicion of arson. No conclusions can be made at the moment because much needs to be investigated and new details can be found," chief prosecutor Pierre Sennes said.
The cathedral has a similar outer construction to Paris' Notre Dame, which itself suffered a horrendous fire in 2019. President Emmanuel Macron praised firefighters for their courage.
"After Notre Dame, the St. Peter and St. Paul Cathedral in the heart of Nantes is in flames. Support for our firefighters who risk everything to save this Gothic jewel," he tweeted.
Prime Minister Jean Castex said he will go to the site of the fire later on Saturday. Castex will be accompanied by Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin and Culture Minister Roselyne Bachelot. (Sputnik/ANI)