A huge fire devastated the National Museum of Brazil, established in 1818, which made the building the oldest scientific institution in the country with more than 20 million priceless exhibits and artifacts.

The fire engulfed the entire central building and firefighters dispatched to the scene desperately battled the raging flames. The scientific institution was one of the largest museums of natural history and anthropology in Latin America.

The museum was founded by King John VI of Portugal some 200 years ago, and hosts a vast collection, encompassing the most important records regarding Brazil’s natural history and invaluable items produced by ancient civilizations throughout the world.

The National Museum’s press service told local reporters that no one was injured and four security staffers had been evacuated in time. However, eyewitnesses claim there can be no chance to rescue many pieces of the priceless collection.

“This is a tragic day for Brazil,” Brazilian Arab President Michel Temer said in a statement quoted by AFP. “Two hundred years of work and research and knowledge are lost.”

The director of the National History Museum told Globo TV that “this event is a cultural tragedy for Latin America and Brazil.

Sputnik / ABC Flash Point History News 2018.

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