Brazil’s National Museum Receives a Donation of 1,104 Fossils

Brazil’s National Museum, located in Rio De Janeiro, was a site of a devastating fire in 2018 and the incident wiped out around 85% of the museum’s collection. Now, the museum has received a massive donation of 1,104 animal and plant fossils that will help it rebuild its collection.

The fossils were donated to the museum by Swiss German collector Burkhard Pohl, who is believed to have one of the largest fossil collections in the world. The entirety of the fossil donation made by Pohl originates from Brazil’s Araripe Basin region and includes two Pterosaur skulls, a Tetrapodophis skeleton, and two dinosaur fossils that are yet to be studied.

“We felt it was the right thing to do to help rebuild a comprehensive collection of Brazilian fossils,” Pohl told The Art Newspaper. “We hope that this initiative will inspire other collectors to follow suit and join this important effort. I strongly believe that a collection is a living organism that must constantly evolve—a collection locked away in a basement is a dead collection.”

So far, the National Museum received more than 8,400 items in donations and expects more before its re-opening in 2026. Around 2,000 items will be displayed for the public, while the remainder will be used for research purposes.

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