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The video images of flames shooting skyward out of the National Museum of Brazil, in Rio de Janeiro, stabbed me in the heart.
I spent close to 20 years alternating between president, secretary, and grunt volunteer with the infinitely smaller Lake Country Museum. I know from personal experience how hard it is to document the past, especially from societies that maintained no written texts.
Every artifact, every letter, every story, is like a clue in a mystery novel. Clue by laborious clue, a museum puts together a coherent picture of what life was like, back then -- whenever “then” was.
The Rio fire, in effect, ripped out almost all the pages from the novel about South America.
How can you read a novel that isn’t there any longer?
Categories: Sharp Edges
Tags: museum, Fire, lobotomy, Brazil, Rio de Janeiro, artifacts