There is a music festival going on by a railway nearby and some inebriated stragglers have been shouting and woke me up... it is 3:08 a.m. here. So I was perusing that horrible news. Indigenous people are complaining about the lost material traces of their cultures.
I might have a rather harsh reaction to how much of a tragedy this fire has been in terms of the destruction of artefacts. After all, this was the natural history museum with everything well documented and photographed. Copies can be made, with 3D printers if necessary. Is it a shame that something that was 500 or 800 years old is now just a copy? Psychologically, of course it is, but it is not a loss in terms of knowledge about the culture.
What is certainly more distressing is the fact that more than 500,000 books were destroyed. It takes much more effort to make digital copies of old books and it is highly unlikely that Brazil managed to copy a lot of them before the tragedy.
I do hope that the shell of the historical building can be saved for the reconstruction.
Not at all on the same scale, but another historical building just as old was destroyed by fire in the last week -- the Primark flagship store in Belfast. Okay, who cares if the Primark clothes are all destroyed, but it was a lovely building, too.
After all, this was the natural history museum with everything well documented and photographed. Copies can be made, with 3D printers if necessary.
I am not following your logic here. First of all, many things in museums are documented in the sense that they've been given a number & description and possibly photographed. But museums keep things lying around in wait for the day that the object's purpose or how it fits into a bigger picture is finally known. And considering that there had been no upkeep on fire safety, who knows if the documentation went up with the building. And you can't make a copy of something that no longer exists.
So am I Questa. For whatever reason I keep in my mind a scene from Indiana jones (3) when he meets herr Hitler at the night of the long knives and a lot of books are burned. We call it an autodafé in French and the term also struck me as ultimate horror. I am unable to destroy a book or to watch them being destroyed. The older the more terrible.
In most Asian cultures books are treated with great respect...any written or printed material in Bali. You must not put a book on the floor, step over a book, put cushions that get sat on on top of a book. I had some books on a low table and pointed my toe at one...big mistake. 'books are sacred because they teach us how to live right.'
In Bali they have a special day each year called Sarasvati Day (Goddess of wisdom and learning) Kids take cleaning equipment to school and all the books get cleaned and placed in order and flowers arranged around them as an offering. Our cash books got the treatment from the senior waitress while the menu books were the job of the juniors.
No matter how crappy the subject of a book may be, it is still a book and gets respect in these cultures.
Travel! Set out and head for pastures new[br] Life tastes the richer when you’ve road worn feet.[br]Ibn Battuta[br]
well, i think a copy is not always the same as the original. reasons might be emotional, yes, but let's say you stand in front of a dinosaur skeleton, there's a difference in thinking "this is millions of years old" or thinking "this is what bones that were millions of years old look like". (and if it is just about "knowledge", then wouldn't the copy of a work of art also be just the same, as it is just about what the picture looks like?) one of the items that was destroyed were the skeleton parts named "luzia", one of the oldest (or the oldest) human remains found in the americas. the museum also apparently had the biggest collection of indigenous literature and a lot of pre-columbian artifacts ...
a brazilian friend of mine said that fires in museums and similar places actually seem to occur quite often lately, this was just one that was big enough to make international news ...
ah, about books, interestingly for me i always felt they are kind of everyday objects meant to be in use ... different for old books or special editions maybe, and of course i am careful with books that aren't mine, and also with those that are mine i wouldn't tear out pages or similar - but i want to read them in some comfort, and carry them around in my backpack, without constantly fussing with lots of protective wrapping or avoiding any possible crease ... my mom's a librarian, so she feels somewhat different, and sometimes i have to be careful she doesn't see how i "treat" books ...