UNESCO experts: Will take years to restore Brazilian museum

Head of the UNESCO emergency mission, Cristina Menegazzi, left, speaks next to the Representative of UNESCO in Brazil, Marlova Jovchelovitch Noleto, center, and consultant of the International Center for Studies on the Conservation and Restoration of Cultural Goods, Jose Luiz Pedersoli Junior, during a press conference about the major fire in Rio's National Museum, at the representation's headquarters, in Brasilia, Brazil, Tuesday, Spet. 18, 2018. UNESCO coordinates an emergency mission, consisting of specialists in recovery and reconstruction, who will support Brazil in the reconstruction work of the National Museum of Rio de Janeiro. (AP Photo/Eraldo Peres)
Head of the UNESCO emergency mission, Cristina Menegazzi, speaks during a press conference about the major fire in Rio's National Museum, at the representation's headquarters, in Brasilia, Brazil, Tuesday, Spet. 18, 2018. UNESCO coordinates an emergency mission, consisting of specialists in recovery and reconstruction, who will support Brazil in the reconstruction work of the National Museum of Rio de Janeiro. (AP Photo/Eraldo Peres)
Head of the UNESCO emergency mission, Cristina Menegazzi, hears a question during a press conference on the major fire in Rio's National Museum, at the representation's headquarters, in Brasilia, Brazil, Tuesday, Spet. 18, 2018. UNESCO coordinates an emergency mission, consisting of specialists in recovery and reconstruction, who will support Brazil in the reconstruction work of the National Museum of Rio de Janeiro. (AP Photo/Eraldo Peres)

BRASILIA, Brazil — Experts with UNESCO say it could take years to restore Brazil's National Museum and the vast collections that were ravaged by a fire on Sept. 2.

Jose Luiz Pedersoli, who works for International Centre for the Study of the Preservation and Restoration of Cultural Property, said Tuesday that based on the experience of other countries it could take up to 10 years to restore just part of the collections.

Pedersoli is part of a group of specialists working with the United Nations' cultural agency that visited the remains of the museum. Group director Cristina Menegazzi said its members are studying how best to rescue the objects that survived the fire.

"I think that the expectation for the work of rescuing, digging ... we are talking about months or even years. In addition to that, we are talking about years related to cleaning, conservation, documentation and stabilization," Pedersoli said. "With the example of Germany when the Municipal Archive building (in Cologne) collapsed, our colleagues from Germany told us that 10 years after the event what they recovered" that was in a condition suitable for public display was just 20 percent of the collection.

Brazilian officials have vowed to rebuild the National Museum in Rio. Countries including Germany, Italy, France, Canada and the United States have offered to help Brazil in the effort.

The cause of the fire is still under investigation. The disaster led to recriminations that successive governments didn't sufficiently funded the museum, which was well known to be vulnerable to fire.

The museum's vice director said earlier that as much as 90 percent of Latin America's largest collection of treasures might have been lost.

Its collections of about 20 million items include a skull called Luzia, which is among the oldest fossils ever found in the Americas. Other artifacts including Egyptian mummies, dinosaur skeletons and documents about the ancient tribes.

You may also be interested in

Egypt's Coptic pope meets Australian prime...

Sep 6, 2017

Pope Tawadros II has met with Australia's prime minister and senior government officials during the...

Stokes provisionally named in England's one-day...

Dec 6, 2017

Allrounder Ben Stokes has been provisionally included in England's 16-man squad for a five-match...

Gays marry in midnight wedding ceremonies across...

Jan 9, 2018

Same-sex couples married in midnight ceremonies across Australia after the country's last legal...

Comedian Will Ferrell brings laughs to the...

Jan 18, 2018

American actor and comedian Will Ferrell isn't just at the Australian Open this week for the tennis

Australia's Aboriginal life expectancy gap widens

Feb 8, 2018

A report has found that Australia has failed to close the gap between the life expectancies of its...

Diver Haven is brought to you by a team of tech-savvy diving enthusiasts. Diver of all walks of life be it recreational to professional, scuba or freedivers are always welcome.

Contact us: sales[at]diverhaven.com