Google this week announced that the old interiors of the National Museum of Brazil, located in Rio de Janeiro, are now available on Google Maps, via the Street View imagery. This announcement happens now, after the fire that struck the National Museum of Brazil and destroyed around 20 million pieces of Portuguese and Brazilian history. The pieces included indigenous artifacts, dinosaur remains and the oldest human skeleton ever discovered in the Americas.
In 2016, Google Arts & Culture started working with the museum to bring their collection online—so that anyone, anywhere in the world could see and learn about these ancient artifacts. Now for the first time ever that is possible.
Chance Coughenour, Program Manager, Google Arts & Culture, wrote that “unfortunately, the destruction of collections like these reminds us of the diverse threats that exist to the world’s heritage—and how important it is to protect it.” He added that “advances in technology—like high-resolution photography, photogrammetry, 3D laser scanning, and virtual and augmented reality—have not only introduced new forms of art, but help us preserve the world’s most precious heritage. Even though images cannot replace what has been lost, they offer us a way to remember.”