International

Massive blaze at 200-year-old Rio museum

Flames engulf the 200-year-old National Museum of Brazil, in Rio de Janeiro, on Sunday.

Flames engulf the 200-year-old National Museum of Brazil, in Rio de Janeiro, on Sunday.   | Photo Credit: AP

A massive fire tore through a 200-year-old museum in Rio de Janeiro late Sunday, lighting up the night and sending large plumes of smoke into the air.

Firefighters worked to put out the blaze at the esteemed National Museum in northern Rio, which houses artefacts from Egypt, Greco-Roman art and some of the first fossils found in Brazil.

In a statement, the museum said the blaze began around 7:30 p.m. There were no reported injuries and the fire began after it had closed to the public, said the statement. It wasn’t immediately clear how the fire began.

In a statement, President Michel Temer said it was “a sad day for all Brazilians.”

“Two hundred years of work, investigation and knowledge have been lost,” said Mr. Temer.

According to the museum’s website, it has more than 20,000 items related to the history of Brazil and other countries, and that many of its collections came from members of Brazil’s royal family.

Connected to the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, the museum has expositions that include anthropology, archaeology and paleontology, among others.

The vice director of the museum, Luiz Fernando Dias Duarte, told Globo news the museum suffered chronic underfunding.

“Everybody wants to be supportive now. We never had adequate support,” he said.

Sgt. Moises Torres from the state’s firefighting headquarters said firefighters were working to put out the blaze.

A letter from the Editor


Dear reader,

We have been keeping you up-to-date with information on the developments in India and the world that have a bearing on our health and wellbeing, our lives and livelihoods, during these difficult times. To enable wide dissemination of news that is in public interest, we have increased the number of articles that can be read free, and extended free trial periods. However, we have a request for those who can afford to subscribe: please do. As we fight disinformation and misinformation, and keep apace with the happenings, we need to commit greater resources to news gathering operations. We promise to deliver quality journalism that stays away from vested interest and political propaganda.

Support Quality Journalism
Recommended for you
This article is closed for comments.
Please Email the Editor

Printable version | May 22, 2020 4:16:46 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/international/massive-blaze-at-200-year-old-rio-museum/article24852568.ece

Next Story