In Photos: The Smoldering Remains of Brazil's National Museum

Late on September 2, a fire tore through the 200-year-old National Museum of Brazil in Rio de Janeiro, burning for more than five hours and destroying or damaging countless irreplaceable artifacts, fossils, memorabilia, works of art, and more. The museum’s collection reportedly included more than 20 million items. The cause remains under investigation, and salvage efforts are under way, but the losses appear to be enormous. Protesters took to the streets denouncing government mismanagement, neglect, and budget cuts that they say have left the museum and other institutions vulnerable to devastating fires and other disasters. See also Ed Yong’s “What Was Lost in Brazil’s Devastating Museum Fire.”

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