Brazil museum fire destroyed 700 ancient Egyptian artifacts

September 6, 2018 GMT

CAIRO (AP) — Egypt’s Antiquities Ministry says a preliminary report shows that the fire that engulfed Brazil’s National Museum destroyed all of its artifacts including those in the pharaonic hall, which contained 700 pieces.

Thursday’s statement says Egypt’s diplomatic missions in Brazil are communicating with the museum’s Egyptology department head to know the precise damages to Egyptian holdings.

Mostafa Waziri, secretary-general of the Supreme Council of Antiquities, says the pieces were largely bought by Brazil’s emperor, Dom Pedro I, from antiquities traders in the 19th century.

He says they include five mummies, one of which was offered in its original coffin to Dom Pedro II by Egyptian Viceroy Ismail Pasha during a visit to the Middle East.

Flames tore through the 200-year-old museum, which contained some 20 million items, on Sunday.