Brazil’s oldest and most important historical and scientific museum has been consumed by fire, and much of its archive of 20m items is believed to have been destroyed.
The fire at Rio de Janeiro’s 200-year-old National Museum began after it closed to the public on Sunday and raged into the night. There were no reports of injuries, but the loss to Brazilian science, history and culture was incalculable, two of its vice-directors said.
Imagine if the Smithsonian burned down. It’s not replaceable.
The media are reporting that the cause of this fire was neglect — the museum had “fallen into disrepair”, and that it had only recently managed to land support for a fire prevention project. I might be more favorable to conservatives if they were actually interested in preserving what the nation has, and less interested in looting what we’ve got to benefit the wealthy (I know nothing about the leanings of the Brazilian government; this is a general statement about the neglect I see when conservatives are in power in my country.)