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The museum, created by King Juan VI of Portugal in 1818, is considered the fifth largest in the world in terms of collection and includes collections of stuffed animals, indigenous utensils, mummies and fossils, among others.
A fire consumed this Sunday (02.09.2018) the National Museum of Rio de Janeiro, which houses some 20 million pieces dating from the Brazilian imperial era and which celebrates 2018 its 200 years of history.
The hidden treasure
The flames began in the enclosure when it was already closed to the public and there were only four guards inside. According to the information offered by the museum itself, there are no injuries as they all managed to leave on time.
The authorities reported that it is not yet possible to detect the causes that caused it.
The former director of the site, José Perez Pombal, who was in the place of the event, told the news agency EFE that “nothing will be left.”
“The flames are so high and the fire is everywhere, the palace is going to burn everything and also the collections, the mummies, everything,” he said.
“It’s over, I do not know if the institution will continue to exist after that,” he finished.
For his part, the president of Brazil, Michel Temer, lamented in an official statement the incident, which he described as “a tragic day for museology” in the country.
In his Twitter account, Temer described as “incalculable for Brazil the loss of the collection of the National Museum” and noted that “two hundred years of work, research and knowledge were lost”.
“It’s a sad day for all Brazilians,” he added.
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
Also the Minister of Culture of Brazil, Sérgio Sá Leitao, said that it is a “day of mourning” and that the situation “is regrettable”, but commented that it is a consequence of “years of negligence”.
“Let that serve as an alert so that tragedies like that do not repeat themselves in other museums and other institutions,” the minister also told local television.
In 1978, a fire at the Museum of Modern Art in Rio de Janeiro caused the disappearance of important paintings by artists such as Pablo Picasso, Salvador Dalí or Joaquín Torres-García, exhibited there in a temporary exhibition.
The National Museum of Rio de Janeiro, created by King Juan VI of Portugal on June 6, 1818, is considered the fifth largest in the world in terms of collection and includes collections of stuffed animals, indigenous utensils, mummies and fossils, among others .