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Posthumous tribute to the National Museum of Rio de Janeiro, RJ, Brazil

Last Updated: 1st Nov 2019

By Paulo Cesar Pereira das Neves; Daniel Atencio; Darcson Vieira

In the book we wrote: Encyclopedia of Minerals of Brazil – Tectosilicates (in Portuguese), we made, with the intention that tragedies like this no longer reoccur worldwide, a posthumous tribute to the National Museum of Rio de Janeiro, which we report below.

“To the National Museum of Rio de Janeiro (1818 - 2018), one of the most significant scientific institutions in the world, hitherto tragically murdered by the incompetence, ignorance and neglect with which science and public things are dealt with around the world (concurrently with this Brazilian tragedy was occuring the sinister disaster of Notre Dame Cathedral in France).

The world has lost 200 years of scientific history and an anthropological, botanical, ethnological, geological, paleontological and zoological collection worthy of being among the largest scientific institutions on earth.
We lost with him part of our scientific identity. We were struck down by a feeling of helplessness, fragility, bitterness and discouragement, incomprehensible things and one question was asked: why?
In its majestic entrance, the Bendegó, how will it be? Bring from the hinterlands of Uauá, Bahia, at the initiative of Dom Pedro II, a relatively cultured man for the time, but ahead of his time. For sure, the meteorite will overcome the tragedy as it experienced extreme conditions on its long journey to our Planet. It will not be a fire that will destroy it. However, the wonderful collections of minerals from the Bragança and Bonifácio must have suffered priceless losses. The fossils, the mummies, the other collections! But, of course, they were destroyed. Despite the ominous, the National Museum should slowly rise from the ashes to which it has been reduced. This will come from the gallantry of your functional school body - this is a certainty and comfort that we have left in a time of such bitterness, even though it will never be as it was again.
Poor Brazil, a country that had proclaimed its Republic, but which, in the modus vivendi of most of its public men, never came out of the darkness of the Empire".

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