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The Latest Brazilians mourn museum destroyed in fire

RIO DE JANEIRO — The Latest on the fire at Brazil’s National Museum (all times local):

11:24 a.m.

Smoke was still rising from the burned-out hulk of Brazil’s National Museum after a large fire broke out.

Museum director Alexander Kellner said Monday that part of the collection was destroyed Sunday night, but that it was not possible yet to detail what was lost.

The museum had a collection of 20 million items, including Egyptian and Greco-Roman artifacts and the oldest human skull found in the Western hemisphere. It was once the home of the Portuguese royal family.

The building was still standing, but much of it appeared to have been gutted. A few hundred people crowded at the gates of the site, some in tears.

“This fire is what Brazilian politicians are doing to the people,” said Rosana Hollanda, a 35-year-old high school teacher. “They’re burning our history, and they’re burning our dreams.”

On the massive site where the museum sits, the fencing was dilapidated, stonework was cracked and lawns appeared untended.