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1972, the cathedral of Nantes burns

Friday, January 28, 1972, during the afternoon, a fire broke out on the roof of Saint-Pierre-et-Saint-Paul Cathedral in Nantes. The accident is triggered accidentally by the torch of a worker who was working on a repair site of the roof.

"The alert is received at 16h18" by firefighters, told West-France in 2017. "At 16:19, help is triggered. At 16:20, the sappers are on site. " Despite the rapid arrival of firefighters, the fire wins the whole frame of this XV buildinge century listed historical building since 1862.

Photo Museum of firefighters Loire-Atlantique. Hervio Fund.

Below, the tweet of Stéphane Pajot, journalist specializing in the history of Nantes in Ocean Press.

The fire manages to be controlled around 21:30. The roof of the cathedral of Nantes is ravaged, the frame went up in smoke, the nave and the choir are affected. But as at Notre-Dame this April 15, the organs have not been damaged. Two firefighters are slightly injured.

A temporary roof is installed and work begins in 1973. The refurbishment of the single nave will cost "Six million heavy francs", explains a conservator of the buildings of France in this report of the ORTF of 1973 which makes the point after the disaster.

INA video

The cathedral of Nantes remained closed to the public for three years, reopening in 1975. Following the disaster, the building is completely restored, by slices. The work on the facade lasted until 2008.

The Saint-Pierre-et-Saint-Paul Cathedral in Nantes, in January 2017. Nantes Cathedral in January 2017. Photo AFP.

Guillaume Lecaplain

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