Massive Fire Destroys Brazil’s 200-Year-Old National Museum and Its Collection

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Brazil’s National Museum, one of Latin America’s most important museums, was completely destroyed by a fire that started at 7:30 pm on Sunday evening. It housed over 20 million items related to the history of the Americas, many if not all of which were lost.

A report in the Rio Times indicates that the museum had operated normally on Sunday and closed its doors at 5:00 pm, two and a half hours before the blaze began. The cause of the fire remains undetermined.

Brazilians and non-Brazilians alike took to the Twitter to express their grief and outrage. There were reports that fire hydrants were empty, causing firefighters to pump water from a nearby lake to quell the blaze. Many used it as an opportunity to slam the government, others to lament the choice of destination of funds to projects within the country.

The museum was founded in 1818 and recently celebrated its bicentennial in June. 

News via CNN and The Rio Times

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