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Archaeological News: Update: Mali: Timbuktu Locals Saved Some of City’s Ancient Manuscripts from Islamists →

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The preservationists of Timbuktu’s centuries-old artifacts have been holding their breath for weeks, waiting for the moment when the French military would seize back Mali’s ancient northern capital from the Islamic militants who have occupied it for 10 months. At stake were the city’s most…

THANK THE LITERARY GODS! Bless the citizens of Timbuktu and every single person who is hiding books and manuscripts under mattresses, in attics, etc. 

Yet another update from Timbuktu. 

In interviews with TIME on Monday, preservationists said that in a large-scale rescue operation early last year, shortly before the militants seized control of Timbuktu, thousands of manuscripts were hauled out of the Ahmed Baba Institute to a safe house elsewhere. Realizing that the documents might be prime targets for pillaging or vindictive attacks from Islamic extremists, staff left behind just a small portion of them, perhaps out of haste, but also to conceal the fact that the center had been deliberately emptied. “The documents which had been there are safe, they were not burned,” said Mahmoud Zouber, Mali’s presidential aide on Islamic affairs, a title he retains despite the overthrow of the former President, his boss, in a military coup a year ago; preserving Timbuktu’s manuscripts was a key project of his office. By phone from Bamako on Monday night, Zouber told TIME, “They were put in a very safe place. I can guarantee you. The manuscripts are in total security.”

In a second interview from Bamako, a preservationist who did not want to be named confirmed that the center’s collection had been hidden out of reach from the militants. Neither of those interviewed wanted the location of the manuscripts named in print, for fear that remnants of the al-Qaeda occupiers might return to destroy them.



Read more: http://world.time.com/2013/01/28/mali-timbuktu-locals-saved-some-of-their-citys-ancient-manuscripts-from-islamists/#ixzz2JOAKmBHx

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  13. lostinhistory reblogged this from archaeologicalnews and added:
    Hurrah!
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    Thank you people :)
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  21. monolithicmales reblogged this from archaeologicalnews and added:
    Oh thank God. I sort of suspected locals would have the prescience to spirit away much of the collection, and it is a...
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    Whoops, posted to wrong blog.
  24. masterprinter reblogged this from archaeologistforhire and added:
    Yet another update from Timbuktu. “In interviews with TIME on Monday, preservationists said that in a large-scale rescue...
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