These Are Some Of The Treasures Feared Lost In Brazil’s Museum Fire


More than 20 million items are feared damaged or completely destroyed following a massive fire at the National Museum of Brazil that tore through the historic building on Sunday night.

The museum, located in a former palace in Rio de Janeiro, boasted a range of art, artifacts and preserved zoological species and fossils. The facility was one of the country’s oldest scientific institution.

Investigators have not determined the cause of the fire.

As workers attempt to recover the museum’s treasured possessions, or what is left of them, here’s a look at some of the items it showcased inside.


  • Museunacionalufrjbr and ANTONIO SCORZA/AFP/Getty Images

    The photo features the 12,000-year-old skull of ‘Luzia’, the oldest skeleton discovered in the Americas, seen on the left next to a reconstruction of what she is believed to have looked like.

  • Egyptian Mummies

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    A mummified Egyptian cat and a sarcophagus that the museum featured.


  • Brazil's Largest Meteorite

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    The museum boasted the largest Brazilian meteorite and one of the largest in the world. Initial reports suggest that it survived the blaze.

  • Insects

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  • South American Mummies

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    On the left, a mummified man found in a grave in a northern Chile desert 4,700 to 3,400 years ago is seen. On the right, a mummy that was found in Lake Titicaca, between Peru and Bolivia.

  • African Artifacts

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    A war flag from 1810 is seen along with a pair of royal sandals from Africa. The items were gifts from the King of Dahomey, according to the museum’s website.

  • Fossils

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  • Birds

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    The museum’s collection of preserved bird specimens was celebrated for being nearly 200 years old.


  • Cultural Artifacts

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    Some of the cultural art housed at the museum included this feminized statue (left) and this Amazonian fish-shaped sculpture (right).


  • Indigenous Art

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    This photo features an indigenous shield and a mask from the 19th century from the museum’s Amazonian exhibition.





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