Brazil's National Film Institute in Sao Paulo on Fire, Reports Say
© REUTERS / CARLA CARNIELFirefighters work to put out fire at the Cinemateca Brasileira, an institution responsible for preserving audiovisual production, in Sao Paulo, Brazil July 29, 2021
© REUTERS / CARLA CARNIEL
RIO DE JANEIRO (Sputnik) - A fire erupted overnight in the building belonging to Brazil's national film institute, the Cinemateca Brasileira, in Sao Paulo, destroying almost 1,000 square meters (10,700 square feet) of its territory, the UOL news portal reported.
The total area of the building that has caught on fire is 9,500 square meters, and 1,000 of them have already been destroyed. There have been no reports of victims so far, but the cultural damage is yet hard to assess, the news said.
"According to the initial information, the fire started on the roof, where electrical equipment is installed, which can generate high temperatures," the local fire department spokesman was quoted as saying by the UOL.
The Cinemateca houses South America’s largest collection of films with some 250,000 reels and over a million documents related to cinema. Some of the pieces are made from cellulose nitrate, a highly flammable material. However, the burning warehouse reportedly holds mostly copies of the reels, and not the originals.
In February 2020, a flood at the same warehouse damaged an estimated 9,000 reels in the collection.
The archive is managed by the Brazilian federal government, which has been repeatably accused of negligence and ignoring the experts' warnings about safety issues, the UOL noted.