Jump to content
Mander Organs
Sign in to follow this  
Barry Oakley

Nantes Cathedral Fire

Recommended Posts

News is coming in of a fire in Nantes Cathedral. From pictures it appears firefighters are tackling the blaze externally from the cathedral's west end and suggests the organ is in danger of perishing. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I gather that the fire is thought to be arson, partly because it started or was set in three places - one of which was the organ itself, which I understand to be completely destroyed.

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/jul/18/french-firefighters-tackle-blaze-at-nantes-cathedral
https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-53455142

In the BBC report is the following:

Quote

"The damage is concentrated on the organ, which appears to be completely destroyed. The platform it is situated on is very unstable and risks collapsing," Laurent Ferlay told reporters.

Paul

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, pwhodges said:

I gather that the fire is thought to be arson, partly because it started or was set in three places - one of which was the organ itself, which I understand to be completely destroyed.

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/jul/18/french-firefighters-tackle-blaze-at-nantes-cathedral
https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-53455142

In the BBC report is the following:

Paul

I can understand consideration being given to the cause as possible arson. Interestingly, however, one of the members of the "Aristide Cavaillé-Coll" group on Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/aristidecavaillec0ll - a member called Jean-Pierre Pottier - posted a comment containing a quote from one of the cathedral's titular organists - Michel Bourcier - who is quoted as saying: "Hier soir, à 21 h, j'ai répété sur l'orgue jusque 21 h, je préparais les messes de dimanche et du 5 août, je n'ai rien vu d'anormal." which translates as "Last night, at 21 pm, I rehearsed on the organ until 21 pm, I was preparing the masses of Sunday and August 5th, I didn't see anything wrong."

That makes me think a bit. If M. Bourcier was in the cathedral practicing he would presumably have had a key and I imaging that the building would have been locked while he was in there so there would have been no public access. He also says he saw nothing out of place during that time. I do, of course and before anybody asks, make no suggestion that the organist was responsible for this. In the event that arson is ruled out I would be tempted to suggest that one cause might have been an electrical fault (power surge?) affecting more than one part of the cathedral simultaneously. The fact that a nearby resident heard "a bang" at around 0730 local time might add to the suggestion of an electrical fault / power surge.

Dave

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That possibility was the reason for my comment on one of the other threads “Nantes Cathedral - serious fire” about the advantage of a mains electricity isolation switch box, and not merely switching-off at the console without this back-up.  But it would be wrong to speculate and no doubt in due course the facts will emerge. (Incidentally, three separate threads on this subject were started all at about the same time today.)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Please sign in to comment

You will be able to leave a comment after signing in



Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...