Unesco ready to send mission to Mali

2013-03-05 09:06
Shutterstock

Shutterstock (Shutterstock)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

New York - Unesco is ready to send experts to Mali to assess damage to cultural treasures in the troubled north as soon as security conditions allow, its director general said on Monday.

Irina Bokova, on a visit to the UN headquarters in New York, told journalists Unesco's action plan for Mali, still was not fully funded.

"We are approaching possible donors," said the chief of the UN Educational Scientific and Cultural Organisation.

Bokova has warned that ancient manuscripts from Timbuktu are at risk of being trafficked out of Mali and pledged to help restore the fabled city's heritage damaged by radical Islamists.

Al-Qaeda-linked rebels who seized control of Timbuktu last year caused a global outcry by destroying ancient Muslim saints' shrines they considered idolatrous and burning priceless manuscripts before a French-led military campaign reclaimed the city on January 28.

Most of the city's 13th- and 14th-century manuscripts were smuggled to safety or hidden during the Islamist occupation, say locals and the curators of a South African-sponsored library where many were housed.

But Bokova has said some may still be in danger amid the turmoil gripping northern Mali, where the Islamists have launched a string of recent attacks.

Action plan

South Africa, France, Norway and Luxembourg have voiced support for parts of the Unesco action plan.

She said an expert mission could be sent soon.

"The first moment it is possible, we'll do it. We are ready to send the mission next week," she stressed.

Bokova said that Unesco would rebuild mausoleums, and interms of manuscripts "fortunately a very small part of it, 2 000 to 3 000 have been burnt" of some 300 000 in Timbuktu.

"We want to prevent possible illicit trafficking of the manuscripts because we don't know how many are in the hands of the extremists," she added.

Timbuktu rose to fame in the 14th century as a hub of the gold and salt trades and a centre of Islamic learning.

Read more on:    un  |  al-qaeda  |  unesco  |  mali  |  west africa

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

 
/News

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.