Brazil: Government Orders Museums To Improve Fire Protection

Brazil has given museums 30 days to improve their fire protection following the fire that destroyed the National Museum in Rio de Janeiro. The order is for six museums in the country.

Judge Geraldine Pinto Vital ordered the six museums to improve their fire protection in the next 30 days. The order includes museums such as the National Historical Museum and National Fine Arts.

The museums were recently told to close temporarily because they were lacking the necessary permissions to operate. The museums will now have to make the changes in the next 30 days.

The order and temporary closure of the museums comes just days after a fire destroyed millions of items at the National Museum in Rio de Janeiro. The fire happened on September 2 and firefighters struggled to control it.

The fire quickly spread around the building and it left damage across three floors. The museum held a collection of 20 million items and officials said about 90 percent of it was destroyed.

Authorities are still investigating the cause of the incident but one official said the fire may have been started by a small paper hot air balloon or an electrical fault.

The fire has been blamed on the lack of funding for the museum. Reports recently said that the government was seeking funding from banks and companies to rebuild the museum. The building was closed at the time and experts had little time to save the collections.

Firefighters showed up to the scene but struggled to contain the fire. Experts working at the museum rushed in to save the collection on display. One expert said they had to take down the doors of the museum to enter and save what they could. He explained that his colleagues had lost a lot of their work.

One official said the firefighters had a difficult time getting water to contain the fire. The fire hydrants located close to the building were not operating. The official said the emergency teams had to use water from a nearby lake. Officials have also said that the building lacked a water sprinkler system.

The fire has drawn criticism from staff and officials, who have said that this could have been avoided. A few hours after the fire destroyed the building, protesters sat at the gates and clashed with police.

Authorities are still investigating the incident. Rescue teams have found some items intact but experts say about 90 percent of the collection was lost.