Sunday, February 03, 2013

Ancient Texts Saved from Timbuktu Library

The BBC, Time Magazine, and Wall Street Journal are reporting that though militants in Timbuktu did burn a number of texts at the Ahmed Baba Institute early last week, the majority of ancient manuscripts were saved. The destruction of the texts occurred as French and Malian forces closed in with the aim of retaking the city.

No information is thought to be lost, as all of the material burned is believed to be digitized as a result of a partnership with the University of Cape Town. Other ancient manuscripts were reportedly removed before the militants took control of the city last year. The Wall Street Journal has described how a number of texts were more recently removed from the library: history professor/acting library director, Prof. Abdoulaye Cissé , and security guard, Abba Alhadi, moved approximately 28,000 texts to safety in early January by hiding them in burlap sacks and taking them out of the city by donkey cart and boat.

More details on this story will likely become available over the course of the next week.

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