Slow-going restoration at fire-gutted Brazilian museum

Slow-going restoration at fire-gutted Brazilian museum
The ruins of Brazil's National Museum stand, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Tuesday, Feb. 12, 2019. Five months after a devastating fire engulfed Brazil's National Museum, the facility is still in dire straits and efforts to rebuild slow-moving. (AP Photo/Silvia Izquierdo)

RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) — Five months after a devastating fire engulfed Brazil’s National Museum, the facility is still in dire straits and efforts to rebuild slow-moving.

Authorities gave journalists a first tour through the roofless ruins in Rio de Janeiro on Tuesday as archeologists and volunteers used large sieves to sort through the ash-colored debris for anything that could be salvaged. Large steel beams twisted by heat loomed over them.

The museum’s director says efforts to reconstruct the facility are underway, initially focusing on restoration of the facade. He says there are also plans to display artifacts rescued from the fire.

The museum held Latin America’s largest collection of historical artifacts, with about 20 million pieces.