“What Was Lost in the Fire that Destroyed Brazil’s Largest Museum”

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The Story

“What Was Lost in the Fire that Destroyed Brazil’s Largest Museum”
by Marcia Tiunfol
The Scientist, September 4, 2018

The Pitch

Dear Bob Grant,  

Museu Nacional located in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, was built in 1818 by the Portuguese royal family and has just completed 200 years. The museum’s collection includes more than 200 million items among dinosaurs’ bones found in Brazil, the 12,000-year-old fossil of Luzia, which is the oldest human fossil ever found in the region, many unique indigenous objects, a vast collection of corals, butterflies and seashells. But this cultural and scientific treasure may have all be gone for good in a massive fire that destroyed the museum last night (here is a video on The Guardian’s website https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/sep/03/fire-engulfs-brazil-national-museum-rio).

Besides the invaluable collections, the museum is part of the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro and has its own graduation program and many research groups working in the areas of anthropology, entomology, palaeontology, archaeology, zoology, and geology.

I would like to write a news piece about this tragedy, talk to scientists and students working in the museum and find out how their scientific projects will be impacted by this unfortunate event.

Please let me know if The Scientist is interested in this story,


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