09-03-2018, 11:46 AM #1
Twenty-Million Artefacts Up in Flames
Last night I caught wind of a major fire at the National Museum of Brazil in Rio de Janeiro. The story was fresh off the internet press and only a couple images available, but judging by the fire pouring up through the roof and dancing devilishly with the cranes and helicopters, I was pretty sure the museum would be a near total loss.
Here's a line from the BBC this morning: "Most of the 20 million items it contained, including the oldest human remains ever found in the Americas, are believed to have been destroyed."
This museum is (was) probably South America's most important cultural, historical, and scientific museum: comprising collections gathered over its 200 years of existence and featuring unique items from around the world.
As I type this, it is still burning though fire-fighters have it "under control" now and are rushing in and out with whatever pieces they can get their hands on. So far no physical injuries are reported, thank the Lord, but the whole of archaeological, paleontologist, and historian cliques around the world are now waking up to the mental pain of such a loss.
All that South-American and world history once found is now forever gone in dust and ashes. Indeed, as Scripture states, from dust we were, and to dust we will go again.
Brazil's economy had been on the decline since the Olympic Games left it in 2016. Because of this, many budget cuts were made, and this is the end result. The museum's fire-suppression system seems not to have been functional and they were in great want of general containment systems, and the fire-hydrants outside the building have been verified to have failed so that fire-fighters had to draw from a near-by lake.
Once more, the loss cannot be stressed enough: I cannot fathom the insurance payout on this loss, and this is probably a greater disaster story than the ISIS attacks on dozens of historical/cultural heritage centers around the Middle East: sites thousands of years old blown up by dynamite and riddled with gun-fire by that hateful organisation.
The moral of this story is: don't put all the best artefacts in one place, and always have fire containment and suppression systems in any major collection. This solid stone building may not even be salvageable. How much less other places?
20 million artefacts gathered over 200 years: the best of the best now reduced to dust and ashes! I am going to declare the upper stories total losses, but it is my hope that their lower story and archives/storage rooms may still be salvageable.
Just imagine the clean-up of this and how many decades of restoration attempts will now occur, costing millions of dollars, to try ans salvage priceless antiquities that were in some cases thousands of years old?Have I not commanded thee? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the Lord thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest.
Joshua chapter 1, verse 9.
09-03-2018, 03:28 PM #2
- Join Date
- May 2012
- Ontario , Canada
it was truly a terrible fire , at this point its unclear exactly what was lost and what wasn't , some items were stored in a secondary building which was not damaged in the fire .
but either way many items were no doubt destroyed or damaged beyond repair
some items might be salvageable but it could take years to clean and repair them from all the fire damage .
the museum also had a massive meteorite which was likely not damaged , considering how strong such a rock is , it likely is still there
a national geographic article gives a better idea of what might of survived , fish , reptiles , herbarium and library were in another building . also speculation that the metal cabinets may have saved some items from the fire
In a Monday interview, Federal University of Espírito Santo paleontologist Taissa Rodrigues said that some of the metal cabinets containing fossils may have withstood the fire, though it's unclear whether the fossils inside survived. Duane Fonseca, a biologist at Brazil's Federal University of Rio Grande, reported on Twitter on Monday that technicians had saved some of the museum's more than 40,000 mollusk specimens.
But now, many of the fossils, the Egyptian collection, the museum's invertebrate specimens, and more artifacts housed in the main building are probably destroyed. The museum's fish and reptile specimens, herbarium, and library were housed separately and are thought to have survived.
09-04-2018, 03:48 PM #3
- Join Date
- May 2012
- Ontario , Canada
Brazil National Museum: as much as 90% of collection destroyed in fire Building was not insured, the museum’s deputy director said, but some pieces survived including the Bendegó meteorite
Dom Phillips in Rio de Janeiro
Tue 4 Sep 2018 18.31 BST Last modified on Tue 4 Sep 2018 20.45 BST
Huge fire guts Brazil's 200-year-old National Museum - video report
As much as 90% of the collection at Brazil’s National Museum was destroyed in a devastating fire on Sunday and – compounding the disaster – the building was not insured, according to the museum’s deputy director.
Some pieces survived, including the famous Bendegó meteorite and a library of 500,000 books – including works dating back to the days of the Portuguese empire – which was kept in a separate annex, Cristiana Serejo told reporters in front of the building’s blackened shell.
Brazil National Museum blaze in Rio blamed on austerity
But it was still not possible to say how much of the collection had escaped the flames, Serejo said. “It could be 10%, it could be 15, it could be 20,” she said. “We had a very big loss.”
The museum’s Egyptology collection was completely destroyed, Serejo said.
Researchers who were able to enter one area of the building in Rio de Janeiro are starting to catalogue what little is left, said Serejo, who appealed to members of the public to return any items they found.
Asked if the museum was insured, she screwed up her face in mock anguish, and shook her head.
“I hope we learn from this,” she said. “Other public buildings are in the same situation.”
Two days after the museum was gutted in a fire that has traumatized Brazil, smoke still rose from the wreckage, and small fires are still breaking out, said a firefighter who declined to give his name. “It’s wood that is still burning. We are constantly throwing water on it.”
An aerial view of the museum on 3 September. Photograph: Buda Mendes/Getty Images The scale of the destruction was clear: although the museum’s smoke-charred exterior walls are still standing – and statues still gaze out over the Quinta da Boa Vista park, little could be seen inside but piles of rubble.
Firefighters combing the wreckage on Tuesday found some bones and fragments of a skull, sparking hopes that the museum’s centerpiece – a 12,000-year-old skeleton known as “Luzia” – may have survived.
“Obviously we would love it to be Luzia but we can’t confirm this,” said Fernanda Guedes, a spokeswoman, adding that the biological anthropology area where the fragment was found also housed dozens of other skeletons.
Some porcelain and paintings have also been recovered from the ruins.
On Tuesday morning, there was a scuffle of excitement around Felipe da Silva, 29, a security guard who had found a burnt page of a book near the museum.
TV cameras and reporters jostled for pictures of the page – a text in English about Paleolithic and Mesolithic populations in Turkmenistan.
“It is an inexplicable feeling to be able to deliver something that stayed intact in this destruction,” Da Silva said.
The building has been sealed off to the public by crash barriers – some of which bore the name of Rio’s tourism agency Riotur.
Brazil's national museum: what could be lost in the fire?
Notes of protest had been taped to some of them. “A society without culture and research is a failure,” was written on one.
Yet while anger over the disaster remains intense, there was a palpable sense that many people want to rescue something from this tragedy.
Serejo said donations from other museums – and the return of pieces that had been loaned elsewhere – could help that process.
“The message is we will be alive and we will keep research on its feet,” she said.
On Monday, federal prosecutors said they had requested a police investigation into the cause of the fire.
In a statement, they said they held a meeting in June 2017 with fire chiefs and the government’s Institute of Historical and National Artistic Heritage to produce fire prevention standards. “Unfortunately over a year later the federal institutions responsible have not published the standards,” prosecutors said.
Meanwhile, Serejo confirmed that two fire hydrants had run out of water as firefighters battled the fire.
09-04-2018, 03:58 PM #4
- Join Date
- May 2012
- Ontario , Canada
were learning a bit more today about what might of survived and what was certainly lost .
it appears around 10 % of the museum's collection and library were in another building and untouched by the fire but the other 90 % was all impacted and many items are surely lost , it does appear to be a massive collection of unique items from all over the world
the massive meteorite has survived but the Egyptian collection was destroyed , its possible over time crews might manage to recover other items which may still be there and just need cleaning and minor repairs