Brazil’s oldest and most important historical and scientific museum, Brazil’s National Museum has been consumed by a massive fire destroying much of its 20 million archived artifacts – losses were too great to be calculated
The museum, which is located in Rio de Janeiro, is a former a royal palace that was converted to a museum 200 years ago. It holds at least 20 million artifacts, with exhibitions in biological anthropology, archeology, ethnology, geology, paleontology and zoology, according to the museum’s website.
The loss of the National Museum’s collection is insurmountable for Brazil. Two hundred years of work, research and knowledge were lost, It’s a sad day for all
Michel Temer – Brazilian President, said in a tweet Sunday.
Incalculável para o Brasil a perda do acervo do Museu Nacional. Foram perdidos 200 anos de trabalho, pesquisa e conhecimento. O valor p/ nossa história não se pode mensurar, pelos danos ao prédio que abrigou a família real durante o Império. É um dia triste para todos brasileiros
— Michel Temer (@MichelTemer) September 3, 2018
BREAKING: The National Museum of #Brazil in #Rio is completely consumed in fire. Founded in 1818, the museum is the holder of over 20 million items, including mummies, meteorites, insects, & fossils. So sad to see history in flames 🙁
Video from @g1 live feed#museunacional pic.twitter.com/eCm8G6gKwA
— Justin Fleenor 🔁 (@JustinFleenor) September 3, 2018
The fire broke out at about 7:30 p.m. in Rio, according to a statement from the Federal University of Rio De Janeiro, which manages the museum. There were no reports of victims, the statement said. It wasn’t immediately clear how the fire began. The museum was part of Rio’s Federal University but had fallen into disrepair in recent years. Its impressive collections included items brought to Brazil by Dom Pedro I – the Portuguese prince regent who declared the then-colony’s independence from Portugal – Egyptian and Greco-Roman artefacts, “Luzia”, a 12,000 year-old skeleton and the oldest in the Americas, fossils, dinosaurs, and a meteorite found in 1784. Some of the archive was stored in another building but much of the collection is believed to have been destroyed. Burnt pages from documents housed in the museum have been found littering nearby neighbourhoods, according to a report on Brazil’s TV network Globo website.