Ancient Torah Scrolls Spared in Devastating Rio Museum Fire

Flames engulf the 200-year-old National Museum of Brazil in Rio de Janeiro

Modal Trigger Flames engulf the 200-year-old National Museum of Brazil in Rio de Janeiro. AP

The National Museum of Brazil, situated at Rio de Janeiro, was completely destroyed by a ravaging fire on Sunday.

Numerous institution's 20 million pieces, which constituted the largest museum in Latin America, were lost in Sunday's blaze. The largest meteorite ever discovered in Brazil survived the flames.

"There were over 20 million objects inside the #MuseuNacional". A direct of our heritage became taken from us. "Help us preserve the memories of as many as we can and add them to @wikicommons", Wikipedia tweeted Tuesday, with an explanation on how to do so.

DW added that, after five hours of battling the fire, Brazilian firefighters were finally able to control the blaze, with CNN noting that firefighters from seven different stations were on the scene throughout Sunday evening. And, as became the case with numerous worthy museums within the Nineteenth century, it built its priceless collections by now and then violent and brutal map. Authorities had expressed concern Monday that internal walls and parts of the roof were weak.

The museum is part of the Rio de Janeiro federal university and the Education Ministry, founded in 1818.

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Many have linked this lack of finances to austerity measures made by Temer's government which have taken effect since he assumed the presidency in 2016, following the impeachment of ex-President Dilma Rousseff.

The museum's website says the nine scrolls, written in Hebrew, were acquired in the early 19th century by the country's last monarch, Dom Pedro II. Likewise destroyed was the 44-foot reconstructed skeleton of a Maxakalisaurus, a plant-eating dinosaur that lived in what is now Brazil 80 million years ago. However, parts of the building were still burning and continuing to be extinguished at the time of publication.

Roberto Leher, rector of the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, said it was well known that the building was vulnerable to fire and in need of extensive repairs. The PT (Workers' Party) and Rede are theonly two political parties which have included policies for the protection of museums in their manifestos for this year's elections.

In a sign of how strapped the museum was, when a termite infestation past year forced the closure of room that house a 13-yard-long dinosaur skeleton, officials turned to crowdfunding to raise the money to reopen the room. But museum officials point to a long legacy of budget cuts and neglect.

Firefighters got off to a slow start fighting the inferno because two fire hydrants closest to the museum were not functioning - so trucks had to bring in water from a nearby lake.

In an article on the bicentenary published by Folha de S Paulo, the reporter noted that "the physical decay of the building that houses the museum ... is visible to visitors, who pay 8 reais [less than US$2] for a full-priced ticket". Brazil's super-rich have no interest in anything other than what they can own, pouring their money into helicopters that fly them over the country's favelas to their offices in Rio and Sao Paulo and into Miami real estate and the global stock markets.

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