As the damage is assessed, we look at the collection’s most precious objects spanning millions of years

The full extent of the damage caused to artefacts by the devastating fire at the Museu Nacional in Rio de Janeiro will take some time to emerge. A spokesman for the fire brigade told Globo News: “We were able to remove a lot of things from inside with the help of workers of the museum,” leading to hopes that at least some of the collection may have survived. Pictures surfaced on social media showing people carrying small items out of the burning building.

Below are some of the scientific and historical highlights of a collection of over 20 million items, whose loss was described as “incalculable” by Brazil’s president Michel Temer.

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