Heritage Sites Buried Under Brumadinho Dam Mud

The government hasn't been unable to measure the dam collapse's impact on heritage sites

Thiago Amâncio
São Paulo

The Brumadinho dam collapse, which left 166 people and other 155 missing, as well as a trail of environmental destruction, has made another casualty: the heritage and archeological sites in the area.

At least eight sites classified as Brazilian historical heritage properties were in the direct route of Vale's tailing mud.

Per example, at Fazenda Velha, on the right margin of the Ferro-Carvão brook, there were remains of buildings with stone and adobe walls. There were other walls made of inset stone blocks in a nearby archeological site, called Fazenda Recanto.

At another site, archaeologists have found circular excavations typical coal kilns and a water duct. There is also building dated from colonial times, with a stone foundation, cob walls, wooden floors, and a stone staircase.

None of these sites were protected under cultural heritage law.
The government agency responsible for cultural heritage law, Iphan, told Folha that "it's not possible yet to measure the impact on heritage sites because of the ongoing rescue effort and environmental recovery, which are still being carried out."

Translated by NATASHA MADOV

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