SAO PAULO, Nov. 22 (Xinhua) -- The National Museum of Rio de Janeiro, devastated by fire in September, said on Thursday it received cooperation offers from China to restore the building and its collection.
"I was in China last week and had a very warm reception. There were offers of cooperation," museum director Alexander Kellner, who travels to China each year to do research for the natural history museum, told Xinhua.
Privately-owned Chinese solar power company Hanergy, which started operations in Sao Paulo this year as part of its expansion plans in South America, welcomed Kellner during his stay in China and proposed an alternative way to power the museum.
"They wanted to help us rebuild and promised to visit the museum for talks," Kellner said.
"Brazil should offer the security that the reconstruction will be accompanied by new safety norms and safeguards for the museum," he added.
There is a "wave of solidarity around the world when the fire struck" he said, noting that several Chinese museums have offered to donate materials, especially in the area of paleontology to the 200-year-old National Museum, one of the world's oldest.
The Brazilian cultural institution could open again in 2021 or 2022, Kellner said. And financing was key to post-fire reconstruction.
During the Sept. 2 fire, 90 percent of the museum building was destroyed with a large part of its collection decimated. The cause of the fire is still under investigation.
The building dated back to the colonial era when Rio de Janeiro was the capital of the Portuguese empire in the New World.