Budgetary cuts are being blamed for the building's vulnerability to fire.
Brazil's National Museum, which held a collection of 20 million of the most historically significant anthropological items, has been completely destroyed by a fire. The cause of the fire is still unknown, but many blame the Government's austerity measures for the building's decay, thereby leaving it vulnerable to weather hazards. Culture Minister Sergio Sa Leitao was quoted as saying the fire could have been started "by a small paper hot air balloon landing on the roof," it was so vulnerable.
Among the 20 million artifacts burned to a crisp were the skeletal remains oldest woman discovered in Latin America, a 12,000-year-old cadaver scientists had named "Luzia." Leading up his point, the Government had received many formal complaints about the decrepit state of the 200-year old museum, which for all intents and purposed served as the National registry of the Brazilian people. "We never had adequate support," said the deputy director of the museum after the fire.
"Given the financial straits of the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro and all the other public universities the last three years, this was a tragedy that could be seen coming," tweeted Marina Silva, a left-wing presidential hopeful. The fire started Sunday afternoon outside of its hours of operation. No humans were harmed as the fire spread across the building, but it could be argued the loss of such records is a dire one for the Scientific community.