The Collegiate Church of Saint-Nicolas d'Avesnes-sur-Helpe, in the North.
A fire caused significant damage to the collegiate church of Avesnes-sur-Helpe.
An investigation was opened and a man was heard on Tuesday by the gendarmes.
The Minister of the Interior, Gérald Darmanin, made the trip to assure the Catholics of his support.
A gendarmerie investigation was opened on Monday evening after the fire which caused significant damage to the Saint-Nicolas collegiate church in Avesnes-sur-Helpe, in the North.
This Tuesday, a man was notably auditioned, we learned from the prosecution.
"I have no certainty at this stage on the intentional or unintentional origin of the fire", declared the public prosecutor in Avesnes-sur-Helpe, Cécile Gressier.
The investigation lasted all night and experts from the Criminal Research Institute of the National Gendarmerie (IRCGN) have been on site since 8:30 a.m. on Tuesday to try to identify the origin of the incident, a- she clarified.
"The last person to be out of college" auditioned
A man, "the last person to be out of college" before the fire, was in the hearing in the early morning.
Present on site the same evening, the mayor of the town, Sébastien Seguin, had been able to view the images of the CCTV cameras in the area.
“We have seen things,” he told our colleagues from France Bleu.
"The fire spread on the right nave destroying a certain number of works that we are in the process of listing with the society of archeology and history of the town and the services of the State," he said. he explained in a press release.
The elected representative also indicates that he will propose to the municipal council to "review the security of [the] municipality, to date largely insufficient, and to initiate a major restoration project of the Collegiate Church".
In the morning of Tuesday, the Minister of the Interior, Gérald Darmanin, went to Avesnes-sur-Helpe: "I know the sadness experienced by the Avesnois and the Catholics of the North following the fire of the Saint-Nicolas collegiate church.
They have my full support, ”he said on Twitter.
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