The 200-year-old National Museum located in Rio de Janeiro was engulfed in a massive fire on Sunday evening (local time), destroying centuries-old artefacts.
IMAGE: A 200-year-old museum in Brazil was hit on Sunday by a huge fire, threatening its collection of more than 20 million historical items. Photograph: Buda Mendes/Getty Images
Fire fighters from seven different stations were rushed to the spot and tried to douse the flames, reported CNN.
The historic building belonged to a Portuguese royal family and was converted to a museum 200 years ago. It housed around 20 million artefacts, including varieties of rare exhibits relating to the history of America.
IMAGE: Nobody was reportedly injured during the fire as it began after the museum had closed for the day. Photograph: Buda Mendes/Getty Images
Following the incident, Brazilian President Michel Temer said the losses incurred in the fire were too great to be calculated.
IMAGE: The historical building, pictured going up in flames, also once served as the residence for the Portuguese Royal Family. Photograph: Buda Mendes/Getty Images
“The loss of the National Museum’s collection is insurmountable for Brazil. Two hundred years of work, research and knowledge were lost. This is a sad day for all Brazilians,” Temer tweeted.
IMAGE: The museum, which is tied to the Rio de Janeiro federal university and the education ministry, was founded in 1818. It houses several landmark collections, including Egyptian artifacts and the oldest human fossil found in Brazil. Photograph: Buda Mendes/Getty Images
IMAGE: Brazil's President, Michel Temer, described the destruction of the building as 'incalculable'. Photograph: Buda Mendes/Getty Images