RIO DE JANEIRO – A judge ordered on Tuesday six major museums in Rio de Janeiro to improve their security and fire-protection systems within 30 days after the National Museum of Brazil, the oldest in the country, was completely destroyed by a fire earlier this month, according to official sources.
The decision was taken by Judge Geraldine Pinto Vital de Castro, in response to a request from the Public Prosecutor’s Office, which on Tuesday requested the temporary closure of these six institutions after finding that they lacked a license to operate from the Fire Department.
The judge also instructed the relevant authorities to prepare technical reports on the current conditions of the electric and hydraulic systems in these institutions.
She also ordered the “immediate adoption of emergency measures necessary to ensure compliance with minimum safety requirements against fire and panic.”
The museums affected by the decision are the Museum of the Republic, the National Museum of Fine Arts, the National Historical Museum, the Villa-Lobos Museum, the Chacara do Ceu Museum and the Acude Museum.
However, the judge considered it a too “drastic” measure to close these museums, in contrast to the opinion of the Federal Public Prosecutor’s Office.
The Public Prosecutor’s Office inspected the venues of the six museums after a huge fire completely engulfed the National Museum of Brazil, the oldest in the country, on Sept. 2, destroying most of the 20 million artifacts inside, only 10 percent of which survived.