Wednesday, September 05, 2018

The fire in Brazil's National Museum

THE ETC BLOG: Tragedy at the Brazil National Museum (Peter Gurry). No doubt you have heard about the terrible fire that destroyed the National Museum of Brazil on Sunday night. This is a catastrophic loss for the history of Brazil and, indeed, for world history. I am relieved to hear, though, that no one seems to have been injured in the blaze.

Dr. Gurry has linked to some information, posted by Dr. Peter Williams, on Hebrew manuscripts in the museum and its Egyptian collection. They are all presumed lost – with one exception. And here we have one other piece of good news. A medieval Torah scroll in the collection contributed in the 1860s by D. Pedro II, second Emperor of Brazil, was away from the museum for restoration and is safe:

Medieval Torah scroll safe from fire that engulfed Brazil museum. 13th-century Yemenite Torah, once owned by emperor Pedro II, had been removed for restoration before blaze (Marcus M. Gilbam, JTA via Times of Israel).

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