Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Better -- and authoritative -- news from Tiimbuctu

Excerpt of a statement from the international scholarly  organization most concerned with manuscript preservation:

From Tombouctou Manuscripts Project
Huma (Institute for humanities in Africa)
University of Cape Town

Since the start of this week there are reports about the destruction of library buildings and book collections in Timbuktu. It sounds as if the written heritage of the town went up in flames. According to our information this is not the case at all. The custodians of the libraries worked quietly throughout the rebel occupation of Timbuktu to ensure the safety of their materials. A limited number of items have been damaged or stolen, the infrastructure neglected and furnishings in the Ahmad Baba Institute library looted but from all our local sources – all  intimately connected with the public and private collections in the town - there was no malicious destruction of any library or collection.
There is much more detail in the full statement.

1 comment:

  1. I am glad to hear that. I had wondered if the reports were exaggerated. Truth is always the first casualty of war.
    These guys have hung onto their books through a lot of invasions and troubles over the years.