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Tue Apr 16, 2019, 12:59 AM

US museum of natural history will not host Bolsonaro gala event after outrage

After receiving criticism last week, museum says gala to honor Brazil’s far-right president would no longer go ahead

Tom Phillips Latin America correspondent
Mon 15 Apr 2019 19.01 EDT

Plans to honor Brazil’s far-right president with a black-tie gala at the American Museum of Natural History have been scrapped after a public outcry that saw New York’s mayor brand Jair Bolsonaro “a very dangerous human being”.

Bill de Blasio was among those to speak out after plans for the 14 May event emerged last week, claiming Bolsonaro’s “overt racism and homophobia” and his hostility to the environment mean it would be wrong for such a museum to host him.

Museum staff and scientists in both the United States and Brazil also blasted the decision to pay tribute to a right-wing populist who critics fear is leading the South American country into a new era of Amazon destruction with profound implications for Brazil’s indigenous people and the battle against climate change.

The museum responded to that criticism last week, claiming it was “deeply concerned” about an event which did not “in any way reflect the Museum’s position that there is an urgent need to conserve the Amazon Rainforest”.


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