04/15/2019 05:59 pm ET *Updated* 3 hours ago
Natural History Museum Won’t Host Event Honoring Brazil President Jair
The New York City museum faced criticism for hosting a climate change
skeptic who has targeted protections over the Amazon rainforest.

[image: headshot] <>
By Travis Waldron <>

The American Museum of Natural History announced Monday that it would not
host <> a private event
honoring far-right Brazil President Jair Bolsonaro

The New York City museum that touts itself as “one of the world’s
preeminent scientific and cultural institutions” had faced days of criticism
from political leaders and activists in Brazil and the United States, as
well as scientists the museum employs, for hosting a gala honoring
Bolsonaro ― a climate change skeptic
who has targeted protections for the Amazon
<> rainforest and the
indigenous tribes who live there.

The museum said on Twitter that it and the Brazilian-American Chamber of
Commerce, the event’s organizer and host, had mutually decided that the
gala meant to honor Bolsonaro as the chamber’s “Person of the Year” should
be held elsewhere.

The Brazilian-American Chamber of Commerce tweeted an identical statement

The American Museum of Natural History, which said last week that it agreed
to host the event before it knew Bolsonaro would be honored, did not
elaborate on the financial circumstances of the cancellation.

The event had been sponsored by major corporations and financial
institutions, including Bank of America, UBS, HSBC, JPMorgan Chase and

Bolsonaro, who won election in October 2018, has a long history of
making racist,
sexist and homophobic remarks
and has praised the military dictatorship that ruled Brazil from 1964 to
1985. Since taking office this year, he has rolled back environmental
over the Amazon and moved government agencies that oversee the environment
and the rights of indigenous groups under the control of ministries with
deep ties to Brazil’s influential agri-business and mining sectors.

He has also appointed a minister who called climate change a “Marxist
plot,” proposed a drastic overhaul of a national environmental council, and
last week announced that his government could open up an area of the Amazon
the size of Denmark to mining.

The event’s new location has not been announced.