May 11, 2019

Brazil National Museum: 'Little surprises' salvaged from the ashes

Many Brazilians wept after their 200-year-old National Museum was destroyed in a devastating fire last September. Ironically - tragically - von Seehausen is wielding his trowel, using his archaeological training, to excavate his own workplace - to re-uncover ancient treasures that had already been uncovered by archaeologists in Egypt two centuries ago, but which were buried again when their new home, the National Museum of Brazil, went up in flames. The National Museum, founded in 1818 just before Brazil won its independence from Portugal, contained collections not just of archaeology, but of zoology, ethnography, geology and palaeontology - everything from dried beetles and dinosaur bones to meteorites, Pre-Columbian ceramics and recordings of native American languages. We will keep the outside fa├žade, but inside we are going to be a new museum, a modern museum. Believe me, if the British Museum caught fire, we would give them some original material of ours.

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