Fire guts Rio's 200-year old National Museum
September 3, 2018 -- A massive fire raced through Brazil’s 200-year-old National Museum in Rio de Janeiro on Sunday, probably destroying millions of the country’s most valuable historical treasures.
The 200-year-old collection of 20 million items included artefacts of domestic and international significance, such as Egyptian mummies and Etruscan vases, the most ancient female skull discovered in Brazil and countless other exhibits ranging from native Indian culture to dinosaurs.
The museum had suffered from years of neglect under numerous governments, the institution’s vice-director the Globo TV network on Sunday night.
Former environment minister Marina Silva said the blaze was a "catastrophe .... equivalent to a lobotomy of the Brazilian memory."
Brazil is struggling to emerge from its worst recession in decades, which was spurred by extensive government mismanagement and corruption.