A huge fire has engulfed the National Museum of Brazil in Rio de Janeiro, the oldest scientific institution in the country.
Firefighters are tackling the blaze at the building, which contains more than 20 million items in its collection.
There have so far been no reports of any injuries in Sunday’s fire.
The museum, which once served as the residence for the Portuguese royal family, celebrated its 200-year anniversary earlier this year.
Aerial images broadcast on Brazilian television showed how the fire, which started in the evening after the facility had closed for the day, had spread throughout the building.
BREAKING: The National Museum of #Brazil in #Rio is completely consumed in fire. Founded in 1818, the museum is the holder of over 20 million items, including mummies, meteorites, insects, & fossils. So sad to see history in flames 🙁
Video from @g1 live feed#museunacional pic.twitter.com/eCm8G6gKwA
— Justin Fleenor ? (@JustinFleenor) September 3, 2018
The museum houses thousands of items related to the history of Brazil and other countries including Egyptian artefacts, according to its website.
Its natural history collection includes important dinosaur bones and a 12,000-year-old human skeleton of a woman – the oldest ever found in the Americas.
Among the South American artefacts in the collection are archaeological findings, fossils and meteorites.
Employees had reportedly previously expressed concern about funding cuts and the dilapidated state of the building.
The institution was established in 1818 as the Royal Museum with the aim of promoting scientific research by making its collection available to specialists.