Brazil's National Museum pleads for money
RIO DE JANEIRO - AFP
"We urgently need one million reais ($250,000) to be able to breathe," Kellner told reporters as the museum presented pieces from its Egyptian collection that survived the September 2 fire.
"We are having difficulties in the daily running of our institution -- professors don't have places to work, we don't have space to store pieces that we rescued. We can't just leave them on the ground.
A faulty air conditioning system sparked a fire that gutted Latin America's main natural history museum, destroying most of its collection.
After the blaze, the education ministry released the equivalent of $2.5 million for emergency works to preserve the building's facade. But other public funds have not yet been disbursed. Kellner said last month that the museum had received the equivalent of $280,000 in donations -- a fraction of the more than $950,000 donated for the reconstruction of Notre-Dame cathedral in Paris.
The blaze wiped out much of the museum's collection, dealing a hard blow to the main showcase of Brazil's anthropological heritage and history.