Timbuktu, Mali

A discussion group focused on awareness of threats to this important Islamic center, and solutions for its long-term preservation.

Location: GHN_Sites
Members: 46
Latest Activity: Mar 27, 2014


July 25th, 2012

Creation of a Special Fund for the Safegaurding of Mali's World Heritage sites 

"Echoing the call of UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova, the World Heritage Committee has established a Special Fund to support Mali’s efforts to safeguard the World Heritage properties affected by the armed conflict in the north of the country, notably the sites of Timbuktu and the Tomb of Askia in Gao."
Full article here:  (UNESCO) 


July 2012


Destruction of Timbuktu by rebels controlling northern Mali ensues.

UNESCO Director-General, Irina Bokova, and the World Archaeological Congress release statements expressing concerns.

Al Jazeera speaks to Lazare Eloundou Assomo, chief of the Africa Unit at UNESCO, the UN's cultural body, about the destruction of ancient Muslim shrines in Timbuktu by the group Ansar Dine.


Mali Islamists destroy tombs at ancient Timbuktu mosque  (Ahram)

Islamists continue destroying Timbuktu heritage  (CBS)

On Sunday, April 1st, 2012, Tuareg rebels took control of Timbuktu and now control roughly one third of the country of Mali. If fighting continues around Timbuktu, the three great mosques - Djingareyber, Sankore and Sidi Yahia – plus the associated cemeteries and mausolea that comprise the UNESCO World Heritage Site would be threatened. In addition, Timbuktu houses over 700,000 ancient manuscripts whose security and protection is now in doubt as a result of this serious conflict.


UNESCO Director-General of UNESCO urges respect for the preservation of World Heritage site of Timbuktu (Mali) (UNESCO)

Mali: Timbuktu heritage may be threatened, Unesco says (BBC)

Timbuktu: from city of myth to rebel stronghold (Reuters)

Updates added to the comments section as they come in.

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Comment by Bruce M. Hays on September 7, 2012 at 3:18pm

Here is an article from yesterday's New York Times, mainly devoted to the political importance of the conflict in Northern Mali.

Comment by Jeannie Sui Wonders on July 31, 2012 at 11:19am

"Can the international community prevent the “end times” for Timbuktu and its World Heritage sites?" asks Op-ed contributors in the New York Times today.  "No concrete action has so far been taken by any government or intergovernmental organization to save this universal heritage of humanity."  

Read the full story here:

Comment by Global Heritage Network on July 17, 2012 at 2:05pm

Tombs destroyed in Timbuktu, as UNESCO declares it a World Heritage In Danger Site. Read the full story from the BBC here.

Comment by Muhammad Safdar Khan on May 26, 2012 at 12:52am

World Heritage site is protected at any cost. Rebels should not deface/destroy any monument. They need to respect for cultural heritage of mankind.

Comment by Global Heritage Network on May 25, 2012 at 10:57am

UNESCO is working with the Government of Mali to establish a protection plan for the many important cultural heritage sites that have recently become endangered following the Tuareg Rebellion which seized control of the Northern half of the country. Get the full story here.

Comment by Global Heritage Network on May 16, 2012 at 9:29am

A tomb from an (as yet) unnamed mosque in Timbuktu has been burned. Read the full story by Reuters here.

Comment by Global Heritage Network on April 19, 2012 at 11:29am

Horrible news is emerging about the plundering of libraries in Timb...  We will be keeping a close eye on future developments. Please stay tuned and spread the word in the meantime.

Comment by Global Heritage Network on April 16, 2012 at 9:55am

An excellent new CNN report discusses the current risks to Timbuktu's heritage.

"We're concerned about the risk of damage. We also don't know what the reaction of the Islamist groups will be with regard to the manuscripts."

- Lazare Eloundou, chief of the Africa unit for UNESCO's World Heritage Center

Comment by Global Heritage Network on April 9, 2012 at 11:43am

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