UNESCO chief in Mali to spearhead efforts to safeguard and rebuild Mali's cultural heritage

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© BFM TV – UNESCO’s Director-General, Irina Bokova, and the French president, François Hollande, during visit to Timbuktu

The top UN cultural official is in Mali to launch an assessment of the state of Mali's cultural heritage and manuscripts after the recent fighting and tensions.

UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova is also expected to define a plan of action with the Government of Mali that will guide UNESCO's support to its reconstruction and safeguarding.

Ms. Bokova will be meeting with the Malian authorities in Bamako and in Timbuktu to kick-start a UNESCO programme of assistance to rebuild Mali's cultural heritage and to safeguard its documentary heritage.

She called for quick action to safeguard and rebuild the country's outstanding cultural heritage – which, she says is essential for national unity and reconciliation.

"This heritage is a source of strength and confidence for the people of Mali as they consolidate the foundations of peace," the Director-General said."

Ms. Bokova is visiting Mali with French President François Hollande.

Donn Bobb, United Nations.

Duration: 52″

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