Brazil's Oldest Museum Consumed by Fire

Screenshot from YouTube of the fire at Brazil's National Museum on Sept.  2, 2018.
Screenshot from YouTube of the fire at Brazil's National Museum on Sept. 2, 2018.
(YouTube)

A massive fire ripped through Brazil's oldest museum on Sunday night, possibly destroying some 20 million artifacts.

The 200-year-old Museu Nacional (National Museum) housed natural history collections including fossils and indigenous artifacts found in Brazil as well as antiquities from Egypt and Greco-Roman times. A 12,000-year-old skeleton of a woman known as "Luzia", the oldest ever discovered in the Americas, was also part of the collections.

Luiz Duarte, a museum vice-director, told TV Globo: “It is an unbearable catastrophe. 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.” 

A cause of the fire was not immediately known. Some critics blamed the government for not maintaining the museum.

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