Most of the 20 million items it contained, including the oldest human remains ever found in the Americas, are believed to have been lost forever. No injuries have been reported. The fire started on Sunday evening, after the facility had closed for the day. The hydrants closest to the museum were not working and firefighters had to get water from a nearby lake. Founded in 1818, the museum was completely consumed in fire. Brazil’s President Michel Temer said in a tweet that it was a “sad day for all Brazilians” as “200 years of work, research and knowledge were lost”. The building was also home to items covering the centuries from the arrival of the Portuguese in the 1500s to the declaration of a republic in 1889. Unique pieces from the pre-Columbian era and artifacts from indigenous cultures and pieces from Greco-Roman times and Egypt were also on display at the museum.
National Museum of Brazil in fire
It wasn’t immediately clear how the fire began. Roberto Robadey, a spokesman for the fire department, said 80 firefighters were working to put out the blaze and that some pieces had been spared. the museum suffered chronic underfunding. “It’s a national obligation to reconstruct it from the ashes, recompose every eternal detail of the paintings and photos. Even if they are not original, they continue to be a reminder of the royal family that gave us independence, the (Portuguese) empire and the first constitution and national unity,” Rio Mayor Marcelo Crivella said on Instagram.