Rehabilitation of the Damaged Cultural Heritage in Northern Mali

“A community’s cultural heritage reflects its life, history and identity. Its preservation helps to rebuild broken communities, re-establish their identities, and link their past with their present and future,” -Vibeke Jensen, Director of the UNESCO Office in New York


Rehabilitation of the damaged cultural heritage in the region of Northern Mali, is an ambitious programme which supported the Mali government to rehabilitate cultural heritage and safeguard manuscripts in Timbuktu, Mali, that were severely damaged by the conflict in the country between 2012 and 2013. Fourteen of the sixteen mausoleums of Timbuktu inscribed on UNESCO’s World Heritage List were destroyed by armed groups during the conflict. Around 4 000 manuscripts constituting a unique documentary of Africa’s history were also lost, while the conservation conditions of the 300 000 manuscripts secretly transferred to Bamako are not optimal for safeguarding.

In this context, the programme undertook the reconstruction of destroyed mausoleums, the rehabilitation of mosques and private libraries, as well as ancient manuscript conservation projects. Local personnel was trained to ensure lasting preservation.

“Timbuktu Communities have regained confidence, the hope of living and lasting peace through the reconstruction of mausoleums, rehabilitation of libraries and safeguarding of manuscripts. The project has contributed to job creation, poverty reduction, revitalization of socio-cultural practices of Timbuktu communities which is essential for peace keeping and reconciliation.” -M. Abdel Kader Haïdara, Executive president of NGO SAVAMA-DCI



2014 - 2016

100% Complete



The rehabilitation of the damaged cultural heritage in Northern Mali contributes to:

  • SDG 11 Sustainable cities and communities, by contributing to making cities inclusive, safe, and sustainable, and also by promoting peaceful and inclusive societies.
  • SDG 16 Peace, justice and strong institutions, by contributing to peacekeeping, social cohesion and local development.



This project is funded by the European Union's Directorate-General for International Cooperation and Development (DG DEVCO).

Additional Resources


Timbuktu trial

Restoration of the Sacred Gate Sidi Yahia in Timbutu


UNESCO Office in Bamako