700 ancient Egyptian artefacts destroyed in Brazil museum blaze

The pieces in the pharaonic hall were bought by Brazilian emperor Dom Pedro I in the 19th century.


The National Museum, seen from above, stands gutted after the blaze (AP)
The National Museum, seen from above, stands gutted after the blaze (AP)

The fire that engulfed Brazil’s National Museum destroyed 700 ancient Egyptian artefacts, a preliminary report has revealed.

The Egyptian antiquities ministry said all of the museum’s pieces were destroyed, including those in the pharaonic hall.

Egypt’s diplomatic missions in Brazil are communicating with the museum’s Egyptology department chief to find out the precise damages to Egyptian holdings.

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Flames engulfed the 200-year-old building on Sunday (AP)

Mostafa Waziri, secretary-general of Egypt’s supreme council of antiquities, said the pieces were largely bought by Brazil’s emperor, Dom Pedro I, from traders in the 19th century.

He said they include five mummies, one of which was offered in its original coffin to Dom Pedro II by Egyptian Viceroy Ismail Pasha during a visit to the Middle East.

On Sunday, flames tore through the 200-year-old national museum in Rio de Janeiro, which contained some 20 million items.

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