National Museum of Brazil fire

A devastating fire has destroyed the National Museum of Brazil in Rio de Janeiro. Housed in the former Imperial palace of São Cristóvão since 1902, the museum was celebrating its 200-year anniversary this year.

It appears that the majority of the Museum's invaluable collection of natural history, mineralogical, paleontological, archaeological, ethnographic, and documentary collections has been destroyed.

ICOM statement Guardian article Wikipedia article



Message of support

The Australian Committee of ICOM wishes to express its deepest sympathy and support for our colleagues at the National Museum of Brazil, following the terrible news of the devastating fire that consumed the National Museum of Brazil. The international museum community is stunned and saddened.

The facts before us are horrifying: Brazil’s oldest and most distinguished museum, situated in the former Imperial palace of São Cristóvão, celebrating its 200 year anniversary, destroyed along with its extraordinary and unique collections of some 20 million specimens and artefacts.

We wish to offer our heartfelt support to our international colleagues and the people of Brazil, a country that has, as a result of this fire lost, not only an integral part of its heritage and identity, but something of its soul.

This event is, literally, every museum worker’s worst nightmare: To our colleagues in Rio, and to all the Brazilian people, our thoughts and prayers are with you.

Can you help?

There were over 20 million objects inside the National Museum of Brazil. Did you take a photo of any of them? Help preserve the memories of as many as we can and add them to WikiCommons. Here's how to do it from your desktop:

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