The tragic fire is feared to have destroyed as much as ninety percent of the artifacts stored in the museum.
According to Bloomberg, as many as 20 million relics may have been destroyed in the catastrophic fire that stuck the National Museum of Brazil. Experts have said that some of the items in the museum’s collection are irreplaceable to science, as well as the country rich and plentiful history.
Fire at the National Museum of Brazil, in Rio de Janeiro, on 2 September 2018. Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons. CC BY-SA 4.0
Among the many artifacts housed in the museum was the skull Luzia, considered the oldest fossils ever discovered in America.
However, despite the catastrophic scenes and fears that all may have been lost, there is still some hope as firefighters have stumbled across bone fragments, officials recently revealed.
There is a fire at the National Museum of Brazil in Rio de Janeiro.
Let’s believe that all collections will be saved.#BreakingNews #PanPrezesNews #NightNews from @paula2ag !
Foto: Reproduction / TV Globo pic.twitter.com/DFGapPQIzH
— Pan Prezes (@PrezesPan) September 2, 2018
Flames devoured Brazil’s National Museum on Sunday, as firefighters rushed in to save as much as possible.
The museum was home not only to priceless archaeological discoveries but the 200-year-old Museum was home to countless historical memorabilia.
The destruction of the building was an “incalculable loss for Brazil,” President Michel Temer said in a statement. “Two hundred years of work, research and knowledge were lost.”
Não sei qual o autor do vídeo, mas é de partir o coração. Os meteoritos, silenciosos e inabaláveis – eles já viram coisa pior – reinam sobre a destruição ao seu redor. #LutoMuseuNacional pic.twitter.com/omasXYhAmf
— Felipe Campelo (@_fcampelo) September 3, 2018
The exact cause of the fire still remains a mystery and no injuries have been reported. However, Brazilian media speculates that the fire may have been the result of a number of ‘budget cuts’ that have been affecting the National Museum for quite some time now.
The National Museum of Rio is currently being consumed by flames. Over 20 million historical items are being lost before our eyes. I am so sad that I’m crying while I watch this. pic.twitter.com/C1XrwBLk3v
— Marina Amaral (@marinamaral2) September 3, 2018
“We were able to remove a lot of things from inside with the help of workers of the museum,” Fire department spokesman Roberto Robadey told Globo News.
The fire began after the visiting hours had ended around 17:00, burning out of control, devouring the entire museum late into the night.
“It is an enormous tragedy,” museum director Alexander Kellner said in a statement posted on Facebook early Monday, adding that they still have not measured the extent of the damage.
Speaking about the Museum which was founded in 1818 and was proudly celebrating its bicentennial, the institution’s vice-director explained to Globo TV that the museum had suffered from years of neglect under numerous governments.
“We never got anything from the federal government,” said the official, Luiz Duarte. “We recently finalized an agreement with [state-run development bank] BNDES for a massive investment, so that we could finally restore the palace and, ironically, we had planned on a new fire prevention system.”
Featured Image Credit: Twitter