A huge fire in the national museum of Brazil in Rio de Janeiro. The fire is clearly visible and creates huge clouds of smoke above the city.

The building of the national museum is 200 years old. The fire broke out after closing time and no one would have been injured. The fire brigade says that around half past seven in the evening (local time) a report of the fire came in. Nothing is known yet about the cause.

‘Sad day’

The President of Brazil speaks of ‘a sad day for all Brazilians’. “200 years of work, research and knowledge has been lost.” Thousands of objects were in the museum about the history of Brazil and other countries. The museum is part of the University of Rio.

The collection of the museum contained pieces from Egypt, Greco-Roman art and the first fossils found in Brazil, as can be read on the site. The extent of the damage is still unclear.

According to local media, a large part of the 20 million objects has been destroyed or damaged. The National Museum is the oldest museum in the country and was established in the building since 1892. Before that, the building served as the home of the Portuguese king and later of the Brazilian imperial family.