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Three years after their destruction by extremists, the Timbuktu mausoleums are nearly restored through the extraordinary work carried out by local craftsmen and with international support. The announcement came at an event held in Bonn as part of the World Heritage Committee session taking place in the German city.
“The reconstruction of the mausoleums in Timbuktu is a fine example of the successful implementation of the decisions of the World Heritage Committee. Since the site was inscribed on the List of World Heritage in Danger in 2012, the World Heritage Committee has been working on this case,” said Maria Böhmer, Chair of the World Heritage Committee at the event. “We are deeply impressed by what has been achieved regarding the safeguarding of this incomparable World Heritage property. At a time when heritage is coming under attack by armed groups, the reconstruction of the mausoleums of Timbuktu gives us grounds for optimism.” “Timbuktu is the symbol of a country that is recovering and regaining its self-confidence. It is the best answer we can give to violent extremists and a remarkable success story for the international community,” declared UNESCO Assistant Director-General for Culture Alfredo Pérez de Armiñán.
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originally posted by: Anaana
a reply to: Shiloh7
Correct me if I am wrong, but I don't think that they are or were particularly under threat from extremists, the threat is from urban development of the area and desertification leading to increasing population density as people leave barren land. If anything, the power struggle three years ago has benefited the site, bringing it back into the imagination of the wider world, particularly it's place in the history of the academic world and leading to the World Heritage Organisation getting involved to organise restoration and preservation work. Given it's importance to Islam, they would be foolish to destroy a place that demonstrates the rational foundation of their religious identity, and long legacy in continuation of the Madrasa system.
Extremism doesn't denote stupidity, they know they need investment in the area, and they have hands willing to help feed them. There is no iconoclastic gesture in destroying Timbuktoo, it was forgotten until they brought it back...that's marketing gold, and somewhat proves a point, if inclined to take it that way.
originally posted by: Spider879
The political fact is that local rebels started a war with the Mali gov't these were then upstaged by an Al Qaeda affiliated group ' they were more extreme than the Tuareg rebels who wanted a home land carved out in northern Mali, when these purist took over they began the rampage against what they saw as non Islamic destroying the mausoleums of the 300 local prophets,forcing women into middle eastern type hijabs and banning music and dance, some brave locals took to hiding valuable manuscripts,before they could be destroyed, and yes extremist by their very nature are unthinking and denotes stupidity.