Fighting in Mali threatens Timbuktu World Heritage Site

Published on April 12th, 2012 | by Sevaan Franks

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timbuktu

Recent fighting in Mali is putting the ancient city of Timbuktu and its Islamic libraries at major risk.

“They are essential to the preservation of the identity of the people of Mali and of our universal heritage,” Unesco head Irina Bokova said, calling on all parties to fulfil international obligations to safeguard heritage in times of war.

Once an important centre of Islamic study, Timbuktu is home to about 700,000 ancient manuscripts, held in approximately 60 private libraries.

“At its zenith in the middle of the 15th Century Timbuktu was known all over the world as a repository for all sorts of knowledge, including Arabic Islamic writing, science, maths and history,” Lydia Syson, an expert on Mali, told the BBC.

[Full story]

Story: BBC News | Photo: Wikimedia Commons

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