Police, Protestors Clash After Brazil's National Museum Fire

Firefighters and museum personnel carry a burnt painting from National Museum of Rio de Janeiro in Brazil on Sept. 3 2018 following a fire

The oldest scientific institution of Brazil, the museum has been one of the largest and renowned ones in the entire Latin America.

The massive fire that recently hit the National Museum of Brazil destroyed all 700 ancient Egyptian artifacts displayed in the pharaonic hall, the Egyptian Ministry of Antiquities said in a statement Thursday. Some parts of the collection were stored at other sites.

However, for the past few decades funding problems, along with an aging building, have put the museum in jeopardy.

"It's as if the Metropolitan Museum of Art burned down", he said. "What happened isn't just regrettable, it's devastating, and politicians are responsible for it".

It is still unclear exactly what caused the fire, but an investigation has been launched and culture minister Sergio Leitao told local newspaper Estado de S. Paulo that the most likely causes were an electrical fault or a homemade paper hot-air balloon landing on the roof.

However, Brazil's federal government on September 4, defended its funding of Rio's federal university, accusing the institution of failing to pass on money to the museum.

Michael Novacek, a paleontologist at the American Museum of Natural History in NY, said that museums maintain "our tangible record of life on Earth". Duarte said he was in the habit of unplugging everything in his office at night because of the risk. Cristiana Serejo, a vice-director of the museum, told the G1 news portal that as little as 10 percent of the collection may have survived. Now university students in Rio are collecting photos taken by visitors to build a mournful virtual memorial to the objects once housed there.

Most of the 20 million items at the 200-year-old National Museum of Brazil were destroyed when the museum caught fire on Sunday.

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Yet while the lion's share of anger is being directed toward Temer, former President Rousseff has also been accused of squandering funds on the 2014 World Cup and 2016 Rio Olympic Games. Police held the crowd back with pepper spray, tear gas and batons. Among them, he said, were the only recordings of people whose nations have disappeared.

Signs of disrepair were evident: The fencing was dilapidated, stonework was cracked and lawns appeared untended. It is 200 years of this country's heritage. Tellingly, at one point the museum had to crowdfund money to fix the base of one of its dinosaur fossils. Eduardo Rosse, a fire official, said that was normal for a blaze of this size.

"Look at the irony".

On Monday, president Michel Temer held talks with banks and companies with the aim to find a way to reconstruct the museum.

Marina Silva, a candidate in Brazil's upcoming presidential election, tweeted the loss was equivalent to "a lobotomy in Brazilian memory". But museum officials point to a long legacy of budget cuts and neglect.

Roberto Robadey, a spokesman for the fire department, said firefighters got off to a slow start fighting the blaze because the two fire hydrants closest to the museum were not functioning. Instead, trucks had to gather water from a nearby lake. And, as became the case with numerous worthy museums within the Nineteenth century, it built its priceless collections by now and then violent and brutal map.

"Let this free us from the ignorance that fails to appreciate culture, science and our national identity", he wrote on Twitter.

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