The National Museum is the oldest Brazilian museum, which is completing it’s 200 years of existence in 2018. Walls that keep as much history as those ones are rare. A history that itself with Brazil origins. The complex formed by the Museum and Quinta da Boa Vista have a clear representation of the dynamics working through the Brazilian history: the Eurocentric mark in our identity, the efforts put in creating a national recognition and the erasing process around the power disputes.
The area where now is located the São Cristóvão neighborhood used to be a Jesuit land until their expulsion in 1759. In 1808, newly arrived in Brazil, the Portuguese royal family established themselves in a property offered by a slave trader. For 80 years the palace of Quinta da Boa Vista was the center of the monarchial government. Even though owned residencies in Paquetá, Santa Cruz and Petrópolis, the official Imperial home was in São Cristóvão.
During the Republic first period there was no use for this building. On the interest of erasing any remaining affection to the monarchy they made an auction of D. Pedro II belongings. The castle have already been a soldiers lodgement and a public department, only in 1892 being designated to shelter historic objects from D. João VI collection, initiated in 1818. Since the decade of 50 it is tied to Universidade do Brasil – Brazil University – (now known as UFRJ). During the 90’s, caused by a budget cut, the collection that varies from prehistoric, mummies and indigenous weapons was on the verge of abandonment. Because of it’s importance to the national memoir and as scientific installation, lots of people defend the continuous maintenance of the National Museum.