IIC is deeply dismayed to hear the terrible news of the devastating fire that has consumed the National Museum of Brazil, the country's oldest and most distinguished museum. Situated in the former Imperial palace of São Cristóvão, the fire appears to have also destroyed its extraordinary and unique collection of some 20 million specimens and artefacts.
Loss of cultural heritage on this scale in fires is unfortunately all too frequent. In the UK alone major fires have destroyed parts of Windsor Castle, Hampton Court Palace, and most recently and for the second time Charles Rennie Mackintosh's Glasgow School of Art. IIC at its forthcoming Congress in Turin (10-15 September) will be touching on the impact of such fires in the "Culture Cannot Wait: Integrating Cultural Heritage First Aid with Humanitarian Assistance in Crises" Dialogue organised in conjunction with the International Centre for the Study of the Preservation and Restoration of Cultural Property (ICCROM).
In the meantime however IIC sends its heartfelt sympathy and support to our colleagues at the Museum and more broadly in Brazil at this sad moment of loss of so significant a part of their cultural heritage.