Brazil's National Museum Catches Fire, Destroys More Than 20 Million Pieces of History
National Museum of Brazil was engulfed in fire (Photo credits: Twitter/Literature_Lady)

Rio de Janeiro, September 3: One of the largest museums housing scientific and historical collections, the National Museum in Brazil saw a catastrophic fire engulfing it. The inferno has destroyed almost 90% of the collection which included some of the most significant historical and anthropological artefacts. More than 20 million pieces in the museum, including some Egyptian museums, remain charred in the massive fire breakout. The government is now seeking funds from companies and banks in an attempt to rebuild the building.

The cause of this fire is still not known but the damage is irreparable.  President Michel Temer called it a loss beyond measure. The fire started around 7.30 pm on Sunday, September 2. Firefighters strived throughout the night to extinguish the flames. Although no human injuries have been reported as yet, the damage is huge in terms of the objects and history that lay preserved in there. Marco Aurelio Caldas, who was working at the museum for 9 years, could not hold back talking about the loss. He was quoted to Agencia Brasil, "This is 200 years of work of a scientific institution -- the most important one in Latin America. Everything is finished. Our work, our life was all in there." Nizam Museum Theft! As Rs 50 Crore Worth of Artefacts Stolen From Hyderabad We Take a Look at 6 Famous Museums Heists.

The National Museum building was converted into a museum 200 years ago and it was known as the oldest historical institution in the country. The speculated causes of the fire are an electrical fault or due to hot-air balloon landing on the roof. The fire crews tried their best to see if there was any artefact or painting that could be rescued but most of it was charred.

Some of the most significant collections of National Museum:

There were nearly 20 million artefacts, each dating back to several years. They were important from the areas of biology, archaeology, ethnology, geology, palaeontology, etc. The most famous artefacts here was 'Luzia,' the skull and bones of a 25-year-old woman who had died 11,000 years ago! The largest meteorite in Brazil found in 1784, was also kept in the museum. There were also mummies, statues and stone carvings from Egyptian soils. Man Falls Into Blackhole Art at a Museum in Portugal, Admitted to Hospital.

So there were quite some invaluable collections in there which have been totally charred. Not only in terms of these artefacts but 200 years old of history has met with dust in this fire.