Report

The National Museum of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, consumed by a fire on Sunday night, has one of the largest collections of anthropology and natural history in the country - about 20 million items. Located in Quinta da Boa Vista, in São Cristóvão, it is the oldest museum and one of the most important scientific institutions in Brazil. Founded by Dom Joao 6th on August 6, 1818, the museum has just completed 200 years. Currently, it was administered by the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro (UFRJ) and, because it was a university, had an academic and scientific character.
Many pieces of the collection are unique examples - from skeletons of dinosaurs to Egyptian mummies, through thousands of utensils produced by Amerindian civilizations during the pre-Columbian era. Among the items probably destroyed by fire, is one of the main attractions of the museum: the oldest human fossil found in Brazil, named Luzia. Discovered in 1974 by French archaeologist Annette Laming-Emperaire in Minas Gerais, it would have been 11,300 years old.
One of the great highlights of the collection of paleontogias is the Maxakalisaurus topai skeleton, the first large dinosaur to be assembled in Brazil. The bones were found in Minas Gerais. After a termite attack on the support base in 2017, the Maxakalisaurus topai was dismantled and stored in boxes in a corner of the dinosaur room, which was closed. The space was reopened in July this year after a campaign of collective funding on the internet.
According to its catalogs, the National Museum has one of the most important paleontological collections in Latin America, totaling 56 thousand copies and 18.9 thousand records. The collection consists mainly of fossils of plants and animals, from Brazil and other countries, as well as reconstitutions and replicas.
The collection also has the Bendego meteorite, found in Monte Santo, Bahia, in 1794. At 5,260 kg, the piece has been in the institution since 1888. Because it is a heavy metal object, it may be one of the few items in the museum that survived the flames.
With more than 700 pieces, the Egyptian archeology collection of the National Museum is considered the largest in Latin America and the oldest on the continent - with mummies and sarcophagi. Sha Amun's coffin is one of the most popular attractions in the section. It is a gift that Dom Pedro 2 received in 1876 on his second visit to Egypt. Another rarity of the collection is the throne of the African king Adandozan (1718-1818), donated by the ambassadors of the king to the prince regent Dom João 6º, in 1811. One of the most valuable collections of the museum is that of classical archeology, Greek, Roman and Etruscan civilizations. Due to size and value, it was considered the largest of its kind in Latin America.
In a statement, the National Museum said it is still measuring damage to the collection.
Unfortunately, we have not yet been able to measure the total damage to the collection, but we must mobilize the entire society for the recovery of one of the most important scientific institutions in the world, "said Alexander Keller, director of the National Museum, in the text.
The doctor in anthropology Alba Zaluar, who studied at the museum, classified the fire as "an immense tragedy for Brazil and for the world".
"The collection of the National Museum is a unique thing in Brazil, it had nothing equal in the country," Zaluar told BBC News Brazil.
"The building was a residence of the royal family, it had a very important library of anthropology.
President Michel Temer (MDB) said in a statement that the fire caused an "incalculable loss to Brazil".
"The value of our history can not be measured by the damage to the building that housed the royal family during the Empire." It is a sad day for all Brazilians,40619449 854926677964801 2409082035755810816 n

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