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Smithsonian Secretary David Skorton issued the following statement today on the fire at the National Museum of Brazil:
The fire at the National Museum of Brazil is a terrible tragedy. Our sympathies are with our colleagues and indeed, all of those in Brazil and well beyond who have benefited from and appreciated this wonderful museum. The museum is a revered institution with some of the most important collections of natural specimens, cultural artifacts, and scientific publications in the Americas. It has a long and distinguished history of encouraging science and scholarship, as well as general and specialized education. As we await an assessment of the damage we hope there is no loss of life, and that some of its precious treasures may have survived. We stand ready to help with recovery efforts along with others in the museum, scientific and cultural community.
Linda St. Thomas