UFMG issues note on fire at National Museum
Note of regret
The Rectory of UFMG expresses sympathy and solidarity with the scientific community, especially the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, for the tragedy that occurred on Sunday night (02/09/2018) when a fire destroyed the oldest scientific institution in the country and the the oldest museum in Brazil, the National Museum.
The building, which housed the institution founded by Dom Joao VI in 1818, held the fifth largest collection in the world, with more than 20 million pieces, works that gathered a considerable part of the anthropological and scientific history of humanity and the national memory.
The collection under the protection of the National Museum, reference for researchers of the most diverse areas of knowledge, was lost amid the flames. The losses are irrecoverable and irreversible. The destruction of the palace, which served as the residence of the Portuguese royal family from 1822 to 1889 and hosted the first Republican Constituent Assembly, is a severe blow to the country's science, history and culture.
The tragedy makes us reflect on the causes of destruction. It forces us to rethink the necessity and the urgency of permanent and assertive policies of preservation of our patrimony. And it makes us urgently demand a sustainable State policy that privileges education, science and culture.
We are all in mourning! To UFRJ, all our support and solidarity!
Belo Horizonte, September 3, 2018.
Sandra Regina Goulart Almeida
Alessandro Fernandes Moreira