Ambitious plan to reconstruct Timbuktu launched by UN and EU

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A man prays at dawn where a mausoleum once stood at the Three Saints Cemetery in Timbuktu, Mali. UN Photo/Marco Dormino

An ambitious plan to reconstruct Mali's intellectual and spiritual capital has been launched by the UN's cultural agency UNESCO in partnership with the European Union.

Fourteen of the 16 mausoleums of Timbuktu inscribed on UNESCO's World Heritage List were destroyed by armed groups during the conflict that took place in the country between 2012 and 2013.

With over $370,000 provided by the European Union, UNESCO will coordinate the reconstruction of destroyed mausoleums, the rehabilitation of mosques and private libraries, as well as ancient manuscript conservation projects.

Local personnel will also be trained to ensure lasting preservation.

The manuscripts of Mali constitute a unique documentary collection of the history of Africa and of humanity as a whole –with some dating back to the 13th century, UNESCO says.

Thousands of the manuscripts were burnt or stolen, the agency adds, while thousands more remain in critical condition.

Jocelyne Sambira, United Nations.

Duration: 1’04″

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