After a huge blaze engulfed the neglected, 200-year-old National Museum of Rio de Janeiro, it is feared that up to 90 per cent of its 20 million artefacts may have been destroyed. Among the priceless artifacts now lost may be Pompeii frescoes that escaped the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 79 AD.
On Monday, officials promised $2.4 million to shore up the building and rebuild it, but locals are raging about the avoidable loss of a huge chunk of the nation’s history.
“The building could be rebuilt, but the collection will never again be rebuilt,” said Luiz Philippe de Orleans e Braganca, an heir to Brazil’s last emperor. “Two hundred years, workers, researchers, professors that dedicated in body and soul (to the museum) … the work of their life burned due to the negligence of the Brazilian state.”
Read the National Post’s full article on this tragic loss of Latin American and World history here.