UNESCO Director-General deplores new destruction of Timbuktu mausoleums

– " I am profoundly shocked by the ferocity that has marked the latest round of destruction of Timbuktu’s mausoleums," declared UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova, responding to reports that at least three mausoleums in Mali were destroyed on 23 December, including that of the Al Hassan and Al Houseyni twins.

Ms. Bokova reiterated UNESCO’s commitment to stand by the people of Mali, made after the first wave of destruction last July. Two emergency missions were subsequently carried out to assess damage, and the World Heritage Committee adopted a resolution to create an emergency fund for the rehabilitation and safeguarding of Mali’s cultural heritage.>


"I call on the whole of the international community to act, as a matter of urgency, and  take the measures necessary to guarantee the protection of this heritage, which is such an important part of Mali’s cultural identity, and of humanity‘s history, " said the Director-General.


 "Such wanton destruction on these inestimable treasures is a crime against the people of Mali, who have always shown great tolerance towards different religious and spiritual beliefs and practices, " she  concluded.