Brazil’s 200-year old national museum in Rio de Janeiro has been gutted by fire.
The fire, which began on Sunday night around 7:30pm local time after the museum closed to the public and raged for hours.
The museum, which is Brazil’s oldest contained various collections like dinosaurs, Egyptian mummies, a meteorite found in 1784 and ‘Luzia’, a 12,000-year old skeleton.
Commenting on the incident, Michel Temer, the president of Brazil, said it is a sad day for all Brazilians.
“The loss of the National Museum collection is incalculable for Brazil,” he wrote on Twitter.
“Two hundred years of work, research and knowledge have been lost.”
Luiz Duarte, a vice-director of the museum, told GloboNews that the museum had been struggling to stay afloat financially adding that the establishment was due to get funding for renovations from the Brazilian Development Bank
“It is an unbearable catastrophe. It is 200 years of this country’s heritage. It is 200 years of memory. It is 200 years of science. It is 200 years of culture, of education,” he said.
“There will be practically nothing left. The whole building was hit. It was absurd the neglect and neglect of this iconic museum. It’s like burning the Louvre or the Museum of Natural History in London.”