Many of the Pacific Northwest Coast artifacts arrived at the Brazillian museum indirectly. The museum also contained vast collections of flora and fauna specimens, including from extinct species.
"It's a crime that the museum was allowed to get to this shape", said Laura Albuquerque, a 29-year-old dance teacher who was in a crowd protesting outside the gates. The Nineteenth-century palace that became its predominant constructing became as soon as dwelling to the Portuguese royal household and a brief-lived Brazilian imperial dynasty. Some researchers in Rio actually attempted to rush into the museum during the fire and save thousands of pieces, but the flames proved too much to save more. "The series of the museum is now not for the history of Rio de Janeiro or Brazil, it is distinguished to world history".
Professor Paulo Buckup, an expert in fish science at the museum, told the BBC that he was able to rescue a "tiny" part of the museum's collection of thousands of specimens of mollusks. However the fireside doubtlessly consumed endless diversified items of Brazil's patrimony: dinosaur bones, passe mummies, recordings of extinct indigenous languages, myriad artifacts that predated the advent of Europeans and even temple frescoes eliminated from the Roman metropolis of Pompeii and transported all by the Atlantic.
"But the feeling I have about the museum is sadness. Everything is finished. Our work, our life was all in there".
Some of protesters say they blame the fire, in part, on inadequate maintenance of the building due to government spending cuts. Police attacked the students with pepper spray, tear gas and stun grenades.
President Michel Temer announced Monday that private and public banks, as well as mining giant Vale and state-run oil company Petrobras, have agreed to help rebuild the museum and reconstitute its collections. The PT (Workers' Party) and Rede are theonly two political parties which have included policies for the protection of museums in their manifestos for this year's elections.
The museum had submitted a report in 2015 saying that it needed 150 million reais (US$36 million) to fix the building, which lacked a sprinkler system and even any basic electrical wiring diagram for the centuries-old structure.
Staff have blamed the fire on years of funding cuts. The closure had a lasting impact on attendance, which remained at record lows. Kellner, who is also a famous Brazilian paleontologist, said to reporters on Monday.
The museum housed one of the largest anthropology and natural history collections in the Americas including the 12,000-year-old remains of a woman known as "Luzia".
According to my colleague Alex Horton, Gomes likened the event to the burning of the great library in Alexandria, Egypt, in 48 B.C. - a timeless metaphor for the catastrophic disappearance of human knowledge.
In a country where the wealth of six men is equivalent to that of 50 percent the population, the destruction of culture is an inevitable byproduct of social inequality.
DiLorenzo reported from Sao Paulo. "Poor people in Brazil do not go to school, let alone to museums". It quickly spread, engulfing the entire building.