U.S. natural history museum will not host event honoring Brazil president

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FILE PHOTO: Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro speaks at the Planalto Palace in Brasilia, Brazil April 9, 2019. REUTERS/Adriano Machado/File Photo/File Photo

BRASILIA (Reuters) – The American Museum of Natural History in New York said on Monday that it will not host a planned gala dinner that was set to honor Brazil’s far-right President Jair Bolsonaro as “Person of the Year.”

The Brazilian-American Chamber of Commerce’s plans to honor Bolsonaro, who has suggested he would pull Brazil out of the Paris Accord on climate change and wants to develop the Amazon rainforest, at a museum dedicated to science and nature was met with outrage last week.

The museum had expressed concern over the event last week, saying it had been booked before the decision was made to honor Bolsonaro.

“With mutual respect for the work & goals of our individual organizations, we jointly agreed that the Museum is not the optimal location for the Brazilian-Am. Chamber of Commerce gala dinner,” the museum said on its official Twitter account.

“This traditional event will go forward at another location on the original date & time.”

Bolsonaro, who styled his campaign for office last year after that of U.S. President Donald Trump, drew further criticism from environmentalists last week by creating a body that could pardon environmental fines and saying that a vast Amazon reserve could be opened to mining.

Reporting by Jake Spring and Tatiana Bautzer; editing by Bill Berkrot

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