Fire in National Museum of Brazil in Rio de Janeiro


Ad Honorem
Jun 2012
It is a sad day part of human history, was lost in these flames, the Museum was in need of reforms, but the government, decided to put money in Olympic games, and FIFA cup to look cool to the world and neglected what was really important.


Ad Honorem
Aug 2009

Not sure about it but I've read it:
- 5th biggest collection in the world
- Most number of Egyptian artifacts outside Egypt
- Huge number of classical world artifacts, inc. biggest collection
of Pompey remains outside Italy

And one of the oldest Homo Sapiens remains in America.
A tragedy, and one that could have likely been prevented or at least any damage minimized.

Some items were rescued but sadly not many



Ad Honorem
Dec 2015
This is why taxes exist. This is why public endowments to the arts exist.

The museum stopped receiving its yearly funding by the state that was specifically for maintenance since 2014 and visitors kept complaining about peeling walls and exposed wiring. Due to constant changes in administration and "austerity measures", the museum practically had no public funds to help with maintaining a 200-year old building for the next four years.

Civilizations and cultures were remembered the most fondly for their contributions to the arts and letters, not how many Olympic games they hosted or how many heads of state they keep replacing due to corruption. This was a fire that could've easily been prevented; the yearly allotment was only around 500,000 reals; the city of Rio de Janeiro itself could've provided a portion of that. Worse still, other institutions have been facing similar problems all across Brazil as the government tries to privatize and cut everything while there's a deep undercurrent of anti-intellectualism in popular politics.

Hopefully this encourages people in power to reconsider on what they're doing with their power, because I have no interest in visiting a country that isn't going to protect priceless artifacts of our human heritage, or even the country's own history. The Museum had an extensive collection of Brazilian artifacts as well as one of the last-standing palaces of Brazil's imperial family, and both are gone forever.
Last edited:
Mar 2017
A tragedy, and one that could have likely been prevented or at least any damage minimized.

Some items were rescued but sadly not many

Lucky that guy saved the alien face hugger ... or giant lobster ... whatever.

It's just not the same, but it does make an argument for digitizing EVERYTHING. All those treasures lost in Iraq, a good portion of them were NOT digitized and are lost forever. I'm never going to the Hofburg Museum, but I can look at the crown of the Holy Roman Empire online. Despite the best preservation in the world, 1000 yr old manuscripts are decaying in the Vatican: a good percentage of those are online for your viewing pleasure.

The Egyptian collection was the largest in Latin America ... it *WAS* digitized/photographed ... but it's just not the same (like looking at a picture of a dolphin, rather than swimming with one).
Egyptian collection ? SESHAT
Jan 2014
One of the worst news of this year.
And now the politization will begin...

Shame on humanity. Even Brazilians are ashamed of Brazil..
May 2017
This is extremely sad. These last few years have saw a massive loss of human history and culture including in my own country Syria.

Looking back on photos this museum was splendid; I truly hope that not all of its collection is lost forever.


Ad Honorem
Oct 2015
Matosinhos Portugal
It was a great loss for Brazil and for all humanity.
The museum was built by D. João VI King of Portugal who served as a residence to four Portuguese monarchs.

Is an example for Portugal and for everybody, we have monuments that need restoration, but the Portuguese politicians see more their pockets.


Ad Honorem
Jul 2012
Benin City, Nigeria
Really shocking and tragic.

Does anyone know what the exact cause of the fire was yet? I understand the place was not being maintained but I am curious about what specifically caused it and also why firefighters weren't able to suppress the fire.