A fire that broke out in Brazil's oldest museum on Sunday night is believed to have destroyed many of the 20 million items in its collection, The Guardian reports. The National Museum, in Rio de Janeiro, is 200 years old, and scholars had complained for years about its underfunding and desperate need for repairs.
One of Brazil’s premier history museums, a 200-year-old Rio institution containing 20 million artifacts, is burning down after decades of neglect. It’s a perfect, agonizing metaphor and the news makes me want to curl up in a ball and weep. https://t.co/kO2Vwxxmbp https://t.co/rNbkaGH7du
— Rachel Glickhouse (@Riogringa) September 3, 2018
The fire "is an unbearable catastrophe," said Luiz Duarte, a vice-director of the museum. "It is 200 years of this country's heritage. It is 200 years of memory. It is 200 years of science. It is 200 years of culture, of education." The museum's collection included priceless items such as Egyptian artifacts, the oldest human skeleton in the Americas, and the largest meteorite ever found in Brazil. Jeva Lange