Notre Dame was 'no accident' – why France believes Paris cathedral blaze was Europe’s 9/11

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The iconic landmark was consumed by flames last Monday night in a massive blaze which destroyed its wooden roof and spire and sparked an outpouring of goodwill across the globe. Firefighters managed to saved the cathedral’s main bell towers and outer walls from collapse before bringing the fire under control. City officials declared the fire started accidentally and ruled out a criminal investigation, sparking accusations in some quarters of a cover-up.

Nicolas Dupont-Aignan, who heads a political movement called “Stand Up, France” and is a former presidential running mate of Marine Le Pen, said he was not satisfied with official explanations.

He demanded on live TV to know whether the fire had been accidental or the result of an “attack.”

He said: “When you’re on the other side of the cathedral you feel as if you’re in a war zone.”

The Paris prosecutor’s office has stressed from very early on there is no evidence suggesting “a deliberate act” and there will be no criminal investigation.

But Mr Dupont-Aignan has repeatedly demanded the opening of a criminal probe.

Philippe Karsenty, who sits on the council in the the wealthy Paris suburb of Neuilly, has been making similar noises.

He insisted people wanted to know what had really caused the fire and would not believe any “politically correct” narratives.

Far-right leader Ms Le Pen has largely ditched her anti-euro rhetoric in favour of French nativism, a defence of “Christian values” and opposition to immigration.

She has yet to comment on the conspiracy theories but an army of far-right activists, backed up by alternative media sites, has taken to social media to cast doubt on the widely-accepted accidental fire line.

Participants in the QEurope discussion forum — a continental version of America’s QAnon conspiracy craze — have dubbed the fire a “European 9/11” and accused mainstream media of peddling lies about the origins of the fire.

Belliferous (USA) posted: “The mainstream media narrative reminds me of 9/11. All their lies but they’re not going to get away with this.”

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