Lonely Planet Writer

Historic Timbuktu tombs reopened by Unesco

Irina Bokova, the director general of Unesco, visited Mali’s desert city of Timbuktu on Sunday to praise the reconstruction and reopening of 16 historic tombs, some of which date back to the 13th century.

Sankore Mosque, Timbuktu, once a large university.
Sankore Mosque, Timbuktu, once a large university. Image by upyernoz / CC BY 2.0

Many of the remote Saharan city’s ancient buildings were destroyed by groups linked with al-Qaida three years ago. Thankfully many of the precious manuscripts and books from Timbuktu’s Islamic libraries were hidden by local residents, or smuggled out of the city during the invasion. Bokova said the completed restoration of the tombs was “an answer to all extremists whose echo can be heard well beyond the borders of Mali”. Read more: theguardian.com