|UNESCO chief 'worried' over Timbuktu heritage, pledges help|
Men recover burnt ancient manuscripts at the Ahmed Baba Centre for Documentation and Research in Timbuktu on January 29, 2013. French-led forces seized yesterday Mali's fabled desert city of Timbuktu in a lightning advance north as fleeing Islamists torched a building housing priceless ancient manuscripts. Mayor Ousmane confirmed the fire at the Ahmed Baba Centre for Documentation and Research which housed between 60,000 and 100,000 manuscripts, according to Mali's culture ministry. AFP PHOTO / ERIC FEFERBERG.
DAKAR (AFP).- UNESCO chief Irina Bokova warned Thursday 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 said some may still be in danger amid the turmoil gripping northern Mali, where the Islamists have launched a string of attacks in recent days.
"I'm worried by the possibility of manuscripts being trafficked," she said in Senegal, where she was on a two-day visit to launch a programme aimed at increasing access to education in sub-Saharan Africa.
"Everything must be done to keep (the manuscripts)... for future generations."
She said the UN educational, scientific and cultural body had begun working with neighbouring countries to guard against the manuscripts being smuggled out of Mali and sold.
Bokova, who visited Timbuktu with French President Francois Hollande on February 2, condemned the Islamists' destructive acts as a "tragedy".
"They burned manuscripts, an extraordinary Islamic treasure. I saw barbaric acts of destruction that left nothing but stones" of the saints' mausoleums, she said.
She vowed UNESCO would help restore damaged heritage sites in the city, which rose to fame in the 14th century as a hub of the gold and salt trades and a centre of Islamic learning.
"As soon as the situation allows, we will send a team of experts to evaluate the situation. We are very engaged in helping the authorities and local population to rebuild the mausoleums," she said.
© 1994-2013 Agence France-Presse
February 17, 2013
Dallas Museum of Art is the exclusive U.S. venue for exhibition Chagall: Beyond Color
Exhibition focuses on Dieter Roth's prolific and innovative period of art-making from 1954 to 1972
Everson Museum of Art in Syracuse hosts works by Georgia O'Keeffe, Norman Rockwell
Expanded Saint Louis Art Museum to open its new East Building by Sir David Chipperfield in June
Exhibition presents works by artists who ripped, shot, cut, burned, and affixed objects to the canvas
France to return art from the 17th and 18th centuries stolen during World War II to Jewish heirs
PinchukArtCentre presents "Chicken", a solo exhibition of Jake & Dinos Chapman's work
Zeitgeist Films announces the US theatrical release of KOCH, a documentary by Neil Barsky.
First exhibition devoted to manipulated photography through the 1980s opens at National Gallery of Art
Princeton University Art Museum presents "Revealing the African Presence in Renaissance Europe"
Vancouver Art Gallery presents major retrospective of the work of renowned comic artist Art Spiegelman
Raqib Shaw transforms Manchester Art Gallery with flowers and plants in new exhibition
Retrospective by major African American artist William H. Johnson opens at UGA's Georgia Museum of Art
For its fourth edition, Beirut Art Fair continues to grow
Fuller Craft Museum opens exhibitions by nationally recognized jewelry artists
Japan's renewed kabuki theater lights up
Swede's Gaza children's funeral shot wins World Press Photo
Katharina Grosse: Two Younger Women Come in and Pull out the Table opens at Museum De Pont
Recent work by artists Phillip Estlund, Kirsten Kindler, and Katie Sinnott on view at ACME.
UNESCO chief 'worried' over Timbuktu heritage, pledges help
Most Popular Last Seven Days
1.- Alan Bean's Apollo 12 space memorabilia for auction at Bonhams' annual Space History sale
2.- Former electrician who hid 271 Picasso works found guilty of possessing stolen goods
3.- Museo del Prado brings together for the first time four masterpieces by Van der Weyden
4.- Study by Mexican anthropologist says elites' clash led to Teotihuacan collapse
5.- Classical realist painter Jenness Cortez re-imagines Leonardo's 'Mona Lisa'
6.- National Gallery of Art reunites Rubens' Three Magi for the first time in a century
7.- Adolf Hitler 1912 watercolor still life painting to be auctioned by Nate D. Sanders Auctions
8.- Curator at Croatia's Natural History Museum finds Neanderthals were world's first jewellers
9.- 17 tourists killed and 42 wounded as gunmen attack Tunisia's National Bardo Museum
10.- Anish Kapoor presents a series of giant and wildly expressive resin and silicon works
Museums, Exhibits, Artists, Milestones, Digital Art, Architecture, Photography,
Photographers, Special Photos, Special Reports, Featured Stories, Auctions, Art Fairs,
Anecdotes, Art Quiz, Education, Mythology, 3D Images, Last Week, .
|Royalville Communications, Inc|