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Rio Blaze Destroys Most of 20 Million Museum Relics

  • Fire destroyed Rio de Janeiro museum with millions of relics
  • City’s public services still suffering from economic downturn
Fire Blazes At Iconic National Museum of Brazil

Photographer: Buda Mendes/Getty Images

Updated on

One of Latin America’s biggest cultural, scientific and historic treasures, the National Museum in Rio de Janeiro, has gone up in flames, leaving little more than a charred ruin behind.

The blaze destroyed most of the 20 million items in the 200 year-old former palace, including Egyptian mummies, dinosaur replicas and one of the oldest human skeletons found in the Americas, local media reported. Troves of indigenous literature, art and documents related to colonial-era Brazil were also lost. A meteorite on display in the museum, however, was found intact. Ashes of the archive were seen floating in the air and covering sidewalks in the vicinity of the museum.