‘My heart sunk’: HGTC art history professor reacts to Notre Dame fire

CCU professor talks Notre Dame fire

MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - The beloved Notre Dame Cathedral still stands after going up in flames Monday, but the devastation isn’t just being felt in Paris.

It was a heart-wrenching sight. The world watched in shock as flames engulfed the historic Notre Dame Cathedral.

The destruction drew emotion from many like Bruce Maggi, whose life’s work is teaching the history and appreciation of art.

“My heart just sunk. A lot of my students came in this morning and were like ‘How are you doing Mr.Maggi?’ because I teach them about Notre Dame and the importance of it so it’s hard to see," said Maggi, an art history professor at Horry-Georgetown Technical College.

Standing for eight centuries, Notre Dame is one of the world’s architectural treasures.

“It was a technological marvel because it switched from the Romanesque period where we had round arches, to a pointed arch, which allowed for more weight. So it allowed for a much larger cathedral," said Maggi.

That marvel was engulfed in flames. After intense firefighting, the structure of the cathedral and main works of art and relics remain. But the cathedral’s iconic spire is lost.

“As it toppled over you can even hear the people in the streets of Paris, how upset they were over that, and we felt it here," said Maggi.

Maggi describes Notre Dame as a key to the past. While many mourn the devastation from the fire, he finds solace knowing the cathedral is still standing.

“The fact that they can have so much of it still saved, they did such a great job saving most of the structure that they can rebuild it is very important and very significant," said Maggi.

The French president has vowed to rebuild the cathedral. Donations to help rebuild the church have reached $700 million.

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