Decision-makers and experts from Mali, France and UNESCO will elaborate an action plan to rehabilitate Mali’s cultural heritage and safeguard the country’s remarkable manuscripts during a day-long event at UNESCO Headquarters on 18 February.
The event will feature a series of presentations and discussions with the participation of Bruno Maïga, Minister of Culture of Mali and Aurélie Filippetti, the French Minister of Culture, along with managers of the country’s cultural heritage, museums and libraries. It follows the visit to Mali of UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova and French President François Hollande and repeated appeals by UNESCO for the preservation of the country’s heritage.
UNESCO is committed to support Mali’s efforts to reclaim its heritage, which was severely damaged by the armed groups who occupied much of the country last year. In Timbuktu and Gao these groups damaged or destroyed many of the World Heritage sites. They also sought to destroy the region’s libraries.
The day of solidarity with Mali will be opened at 10 a.m. (registration opens at 9) by Irina Bokova, Ms Filippetti, Mr Maïga and Solomon Jason Mbuzi, Chairperson of UNESCO’s Africa Group and Ambassador Permanent Delegate of Zambia to UNESCO.
Journalists will be able to attend the opening session, which will be followed by a press briefing with the Director-General, and the two culture ministers.
Starting at 11 a.m., experts will examine a draft plan of action for the rehabilitation of Mali’s heritage, including its manuscripts in a private session. Decision-makers from Mali and its neighbouring countries, as well as France will take part in the session. The plan will be presented in a press conference at 5.30 p.m.
At 6 p.m., UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador Angélique Kidjo will host a cultural programme with performances by leading artists and personalities including Rokia Traoré, Bafing Kul & the Appolo Band, Maliden, Cheick Tidiane Seck, Pedro Kouyaté, Inna Modja. Online registration required
Djibril Kebe, UNESCO Press Service
+33 (0)1 45 68 17 41, d.kebe(at)unesco.org