I walked there, it's about half a mile from the Maracanã Stadium, as you can see on the picture here  (in portuguese). As I passed by the stadium, I distinctly remember large banners bragging that over 700 million reais were being spent to renew the stadium. That was about $300m at the time, a truly outlandish ammount in brazilian reality.
I then visited the museum, which I thoroughly enjoyed, and took note of the fact that an entire wing was closed "for indeterminate time". I asked the staff and the reason was, obviously, budget cuts. I took another few years, just after the government secured reelection in 2015, that the government let the gravity of the fiscal situation surface, by which point there was no coming back from a 5-10 year long economic and political crisis that is still unfolding.
With regards to the museum, it should be noted that it was operating on a reduced annual budget, receiving only 60% of the 550,000 reais (less than $150k) allocated funds from the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro . If these numbers sound like a pittance, it's because they are. I will not be surprised if this fire was started by something as simple as an electrical malfunction of an old circuit that should have been replaced decades ago.
It really saddens me to see this news, that museum was something very unique for Brazil, but I'm not surprised. Brazil has been running on life support for two years now and I think the situation will continue worsening for a few more years. I was thinking the country would stave off becoming a second Venezuela, but the government and politicians seem set on running everything to the ground. I'm not holding my breath for our presidential elections, which are happening next month. I am sure that nothing other than sad words and perhaps some political opportunism will come out of this incident, and that no serious efforts will be done to learn from this situation and prevent similar ones from happening in the future. Unlike the US where there is serious inquiry and learning when bad things happen, the brazilian modus operandi in any such situation is to say "oh what a tragedy", turn a blind eye to root causes, and go on as usual. I am very glad I got out of Brazil to pursue graduate studies in the US, and I truly hope never to have to go back.
I'm glad you got to visit the museum before it was destroyed.
Years later it turned out that some originals were put up for auction since they were alive and well in some private collections. Many times the original is not displayed for the public anyway and a very good copy is used instead. So someone in the museum got money for selling the originals while the copy was still on display, then got money from the insurance, with the fire covering up everything perfectly (either by accident, or for the insurance money, or to cover up the fact that the originals went missing).
Of course this would just confirm the corruption or poor maintenance arguments.
Could you expand on this, or maybe give an example?
I don't know when it started but it's part of the government's culture now. It's common knowledge too: people talk about institutionalized corruption openly, citing investigations, comments by officials and even judges. It's a systemic problem and I have no idea what people are supposed to do in order to fix something like that. It's very demotivating and demoralizing.
This is actually a huge reason why lots of people want the military dictatorship back. The logic is (1) the military cares about Brazil and believes in the country's potential, and (2) they will do whatever they believe is necessary to make the country great, regardless of any individual's interests. Our history with dictatorships doesn't quite validate that logic, obviously.
I'm really sorry for all Brazillians.
That's an exaggeration. Brazil is nowhere near becoming a second Venezuela. The current crisis would have to keep on for at least another 20 years before that, which is extremely unlikely.
Regular life in Brazil continues as usual (unorganized), despite the crisis and it's been getting a bit better lately (not enough to fix the last 4-6 years of economical depression). It's still far away from being Venezuela.
Interestingly, Brazil has had experience with hyperinflation between 1980-1994 when the currency was the cruzeiro. The story of how Brazil got out of inflation by introducing a "fake currency" called the URV (Unidade Valor de Real) is the stuff of economic legend , but it worked and today there's is the Brazilian "real".
Venezuela's situation is much different -- dictatorship, oil dependency and handouts.
Brazil, bad as it is, has a democracy (broken and corrupt notwithstanding), more industries than just oil (Petrobras not withstanding), and has had investments in higher education and technology (Embraer). Sao Paulo as a city is economically far more advanced than Caracas (and indeed, Rio de Janeiro). Brazil is also a lot bigger than Venezuela, with many big multinational companies like Vale, Embraer, etc. The Brazilian 3G Capital also owns Burger King and Kraft Heinz.
There is hope in Brazil. Much more than in Venezuela.
 How Fake Money saved Brazil
Lol, all money is "fake" nowadays - the amount of physical currency in circulation is basically irrelevant.
Whether they printed banknotes right away or not, they effectively changed currency, which is a typical way to exit hyperinflation. Brazil "just" managed to execute the transition very well on a psychological level. Venezuela is trying it now, using crypto as their anchoring.
I honestly can't remember a country ever exiting hyperinflation by any other mean, they all end up ditching the original currency in one way or the other.
The change from shekel to new shekel was a 1000x redenomination, done after inflation was under control, reflecting the way people already talked about prices (in thousands).
This is different from the sense of 'ditch' in the previous conversation, which meant that the old currency became suddenly worthless.