one of the oldest and arguably the most important museum in Brazil is burning to the ground as we speak. home to the portuguese royal family from 1808 to 1821, the Museu Nacional stored fossils, meteorites, pre-historic human skeletons and a variety of artefacts related to natural history. it holds two centuries of latin & brazilian history and now it’s all gone.
some of the things that are now lost forever: the largest collection of egyptian artefacts in latin america; the skeleton of the largest flying reptile ever found in Brazil; the oldest human fossil ever found in the country, named “Luzia” (over 11.000 y.o) and other 20 million extremely important relics and researches just burned to the ground. never to be seen again.
thanks to our government, of course, who didn’t want to pay the museum the necessary funds to make the essencial maintenances since 2014 (which by the way, costed less than a supreme federal court judge’s sallary: R$520 in a year).
another sad instance where the state’s indifference towards culture and history becomes painfully obvious. this is a massive blow to our cultural legacy.
all that in our independe week. happy independe for us, brazilians, who just lost our history and culture in a fire caused by ignorance and indifference.
in case you’re wondering, this is what the museum used to look like:
this is what it looks like now:
thousands of years of culture lost. happy independence week.
“Authorities say the fire lasted for six hours, causing irreparable damage. To put it bluntly: it’s all gone. A meteorite, that can sustain incredibly high temperatures, was found intact. But other than that, there are apparently no other pieces left. It would not be an understatement to call the Museu Nacional the Brazilian equivalent of the Louvre or the British Museum.”
here is some of the international news saying on this, because most articles and videos are all in portuguese, u can check some of the news in english: (here *new york times*) (here *bbc news*) (here *le monde* for french speaking readers) (here *shorouk news* for people who speak arabian) (here *azteca news* for spanish) (here *corriere della sera* for italian).
it was a natural science and historic museum, there were all sorts of important researches and relics. all burned. this was our culture. our history. the first human fossil found in brazil (mentioned above, Luzia) was so important for science, since it proved that way before indigenous tribes existed in Brazil, there were black people.
this is the place where our first constitution was made and the declaration of independence was signed. our independe day is this friday. heartbroken.
Fund science. Fund culture. Even if it’s not “useful”.