The Brazil Museum Fire: What Was Lost

The Brazil Museum Fire: What Was Lost
Some items in the collection are irreplaceable to science, as well as the country’s national memory.

A Tikuna mask designed by Jean-Baptiste Debret during the French Artistic Mission (1816-31). It was part of the collection at Brazil’s National Museum and may have been lost to fire.CreditCreditMuseu Nacional Brasil, via Associated Press

David Reich, a geneticist at Harvard Medical School, said he had struggled to think of an appropriate way to understand the destruction of Brazil’s National Museum by fire.

“It’s as if the Metropolitan Museum of Art burned down,” he said…