Published On: Sat, Feb 9th, 2013

Unesco to rebuild destroyed Timbuktu tombs

By Mourad Anouar

Morocco News Tribune


Oklahoma City — UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova said yesterday the organization is planning to rebuild the mausoleums, which were destroyed by armed groups in Timbuktu.

“The treasures of Timbuktu are an immense source of pride for Mali. Restoring this important cultural heritage will give Malian people the strength and confidence to rebuilt national unity and look to the future,” the Director-General said.

After a visit to Mali on 2 February with French President François Hollande and the interim President of Mali Dioncounda Traoré to the wrecked sites, Bokova said UNESCO will send experts to Mali to assess the damage since Timbuktu is in the list of UNESCO’s cultural heritage, according to  Unesco press release.

Timbuktu’s three major mosques, Djingareyber, Sankore and Sidi Yahi, along with 16 mausoleums, were first inscribed on UNESCO’s World Heritage List in 1988, according to Unesco, the UN cultural body.

Unesco officials said 2,000-3,000 manuscripts are believed to have been burnt or destroyed at the new Ahmed Baba Institute building in Timbuktu, where rebels used it as their headquarters.