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Fire at Brazil’s National Museum Threatens Hundreds of Years of History

Firefighters battling a blaze on Sunday at the 200-year-old National Museum of Brazil in Rio de Janeiro.

photo Credit CreditLeo Correa/Associated Press

A fire engulfed the National Museum of Brazil on Sunday night, ravaging the stately, 200-year-old museum in Rio de Janeiro and threatening the years of history encapsulated inside.

Aerial video posted by the television station Globo showed roaring flames and billowing smoke overtaking the large museum. Windows on multiple floors across the museum displayed a burning orange color, and the glow of the fire lit up the dark night sky.

The destruction to the building was significant, and it is unclear whether any historical artifacts had been saved. The museum housed a collection of more than 20 million items, including Egyptian mummies, Greco-Roman artifacts, dinosaur fossils and the oldest human fossil in the region, known as Luzia.

[See what ancient and native artifacts were at risk in the museum.]

Nobody was believed to have been injured in the blaze, which started about 7:30 p.m. local time, when the museum was closed, fire officials said. Several hours later, firefighters were still working to put out the enormous fire

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