Online petition to save Timbuktu manuscripts

13 April 2012

On April 4 in Dakar, 51 distinguished African scholars and library directors (from 14 countries) have signed the “Call to preserve the ancient manuscripts of Timbuktu and Mali”. You’ll find the English version below.

Today, the “West African Research Association” (WARA), part of the Center of African Studies of the University of Boston, has published the appeal in English, French and Arabic and the names of the initial supporters (see HERE). 

You are also invited to sign this online petition to save the ancient manuscripts of Timbuktu. SIGN HERE

Thomas Schuler
ICOM Disaster Relief Task Force

Call to preserve the ancient manuscripts of Timbuktu and Mali

In recent days, fighting in and around Timbuktu has led to serious concerns about the safety of the tens of thousands of ancient manuscripts there. What is in danger is the written legacy attesting to an unprecedented intellectual and cultural expansion over the past centuries.

This intellectual capital is a reflection of the continued contribution of Africans to world civilization. It is also a reflection of the pioneering place of Africa in the very foundations of writing and the spiritual and cultural development of mankind. If this heritage were to disappear, the development of African historiography would be seriously compromised and an important part of the world memory would be annihilated.

Given this situation, we address a solemn appeal to the belligerents to respect and protect the cultural heritage property held in Timbuktu, including elements of the World Heritage List of UNESCO and ancient manuscript collections in libraries, in accordance with the International Convention for the Protection of Cultural Property in the event of conflict.

  • Comments: 0


  1. phatheka tjakata’s avatar
    phatheka tjakata 24/04/2012 #

    the manuscript must be kept they are the legacy a heritage a culture of Africa they play a big role. they have to be preserve for future generation

  2. Kathryn Santana’s avatar
    Kathryn Santana 08/05/2012 #

    Please save these buildings & these books held sacred by so many.  Thank you.

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