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The National Museum: Fiocruz express solidarity after the tragic fire

Erick Dau/Farpa
The fire almost destroyed the museum collection on 2nd Setember. Photo: Erick Dau/Farpa.

Oswaldo Cruz Foundation (Fiocruz) express its full solidarity with the community of the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro (UFRJ) and, especially, of the National Museum, in view of the tragedy that struck the institution. 

This sad fire episode at the National Museum makes us think about how public policies for the protection of historical heritage, culture, education, science and the public sector as a whole are affected. As a result of the dedication of different professionals during its 200 years of existence, the Museum collections have inspired Brazilians of different generations and visitors around the world, enabling research and knowledge dissemination, which are crucial for humankind and for securing our position as nation.

One of the causes of this tragedy includes fiscal austerity policies that directly affect public institutions such as universities, resulting in sensitive and critical development areas being largely neglected. 

At this time of great sorrow and indignation, we have to effectively denounce precariousness caused by restricted funds and management problems, which create obstacles to the administration of largely complex areas, such as that of scientific heritage.

In a certain way, Fiocruz history is blended to that of the National Museum. Over recent years, we have established partnerships for scientific promotion by means of exhibitions like A ciência dos viajantes [The science of travelers], Roquete Pinto um Brasiliano, among many others, in addition to several other joint actions in research and training. Therefore, it is our duty to support public servants and the society as a whole, advocating for the urgent need for a public sector that is in control of its own destiny, as expressed by science, technology, education and culture policies.

We cannot passively watch public policies being destroyed as a result of a Proposed Constitutional Amendment to limit public spending in favor of interests that undeniably lead to income concentration, unemployment and negligence of strategic sectors like healthcare, education, and science and technology, critical pillars in forming a fair, democratic and sovereign country.

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