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Burnt National Museum in Rio had relics from around world

Burnt National Museum in Rio had relics from around world

The jewel in the crown for many visitors was "Luzia" - the oldest human remains ever discovered in Latin America.

Earlier this summer, a server crash wiped out the digital archive at Memorial University of Newfoundland, and in 2014 a fire broke out at the Musee de la Civilisation in Quebec City where no artifacts were harmed. But his reaction was to the extent of the loss, not the specimen itself. In the mid-1990s, tests by scientists determined it was the oldest fossil in the Americas. 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.

"This means we are not starting from scratch", says Pombal Junior.

Professor Paulo Buckup, an expert in fish science at the museum, told the BBC that he was able to rescue a "tiny" part of the museum's collection of thousands of specimens of mollusks.

Reich is a specialist in ancient human DNA, using such material to study our species' migrations around the planet.

One of the Museum of Anthropology's curators, Nuno Porto, had been working with the Brazilian museum on a different project when he came across the Pacific Northwest collection.

Questions about the fate of the scrolls had swirled since Sunday night's blaze at the museum, which used to be the home of Brazil's royal family. That being said, it is a fact that it's impossible to replace the items destroyed by the flames.

The cause of the fire was not known. Some parts of the collection were stored at other sites.

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Firefighters on Tuesday "found fragments of bones in a room where the museum kept many items, including skulls", said Cristiana Serejo, the museum's deputy director. The massive collections had been a treasure for many scientific evidences.

After a fire tore through the museum Sunday, engineers were doing tests on the structure to make sure it wouldn't collapse.

Mummies, from Egypt and South America, as well as Egyptian artefacts, were another specialty of the museum.

"The loss is irreparable", he said. Among them, he said, were the only recordings of people whose nations have disappeared.

At the scene, many people, including some museum workers, blamed the government for chronically underfunding the institution and letting it fall into disrepair.

Firefighters dug through the burned-out hulk of Brazil's National Museum on Monday, a day after flames gutted the building, as the country mourned the irreplaceable treasures lost and pointed fingers over who was to blame.

While some of the biological collections may be replenished, this cultural history is simply gone.

Demonstrators, majority students from the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, forced their way onto the site of the destroyed museum on Monday to protest the Brazilian government's protracted cuts to funding for science and education that found their disastrous expression in the burning down of the museum. This 365 days, the museum became preparing to personal an even time the 200th anniversary of its founding.


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