Earlier in 2013, Islamic extremists destroyed more than 4,000 ancient manuscripts from the medieval African city of Timbuktu, nearly one-tenth of the ancient collection. Now experts hope they can find copies digitized before the destruction.
Many documents in the collection were saved and removed from the city, and officials hope to return them soon, once their safety can be assured. "We are working on securing manuscripts transferred to Bamako and creating the conditions for their conservation, because the climate of Bamako is not conducive to the preservation of manuscripts,” said David Stehl, program specialist in the cultural section of UNESCO. Over US $2 million is needed for the project.