World Heritage Committee proposes special fund to protect Mali sitesListen /
A global heritage protection organization is calling on the United Nations to help Mali preserve its cultural treasures.
The World Heritage Committee is asking the head of the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), to create a fund to assist the West African country with this endeavour.
Violence in northern Mali has resulted in destruction to world heritage sites in the city of Timbuktu, which has been a centre of cultural importance for centuries.
Charles Appel reports.
The World Heritage Committee is appealing to UNESCO member states, the Islamic Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, and the Organization of Islamic Cooperation to provide financial resources for the special fund.
The 21 committee members, currently meeting in St. Petersburg, Russia, have condemned the destruction of mausoleums in Timbuktu, referring to them as "repugnant acts."
The Committee last week accepted Mali's request to put Timbuktu and another site, the Tomb of Askia, on the List of World Heritage in Danger.
UNESCO said it will send a mission to Mali to assess the extent of the damage.
Charles Appel, United Nations