Brazil museum fire: Funding cuts blamed as icon is gutted
September 3, 2018 4:02 pm
Officials in Brazil have blamed lack of funding for a huge fire that has ravaged the country’s National Museum.
One of the largest anthropology and natural history collections in the Americas was almost totally destroyed in Sunday’s fire in Rio de Janeiro.
There had been complaints about the dilapidated state of the museum. “We never had adequate support,” its deputy director said after the fire.
Presidential candidate Marina Silva also criticised lack of investment.
“Given the financial straits of the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro and all the other public universities the last three years, this was a tragedy that could be seen coming,” Ms Silva, a left-wing politician standing in next month’s election, tweeted.
The fire started on Sunday evening, after the building – a 19th Century former royal palace – closed for the day.
The cause is not known, but Culture Minister Sergio Sa Leitao was quoted in Brazilian media as saying it may have been ignited by a small paper hot air balloon landing on the roof.