NEWS

Sunday, June 17, 2012

PRICELESS HERITAGE AT RISK FROM EXTREMISTS



Priceless heritage at risk from extremists
Rebel group in control of Timbuktu desecrates venerated tomb and seeks to obliterate thousands of ancient manuscripts

By Emily Sharpe. Conservation, Issue 236, June 2012
Published online: 06 June 2012

Concern for the cultural heritage of Mali is growing after militant Islamic fundamentalists desecrated a 15th-century tomb of a Muslim saint in Timbuktu in May, and threatened to destroy other tombs as well as anything else they perceive as being idolatrous or contrary to their version of Islam. The northern Malian city, a Unesco World Heritage Site, is home to several other such tombs and three historic mosques as well as many small museums. Timbuktu also has between 600,000 and one million ancient manuscripts housed in public and private collections that are vulnerable to acts of destruction from the occupying rebel forces as well as from those looking to profit from the political unrest.

Mali has been in a state of crisis since a military coup seized power in March. Two rebel factions—Ansar Dine and the People’s Movement for the Liberation of Azawad—took control of the north in April. Members of the extremist Islamist group Ansar Dine, which is trying to impose Sharia law in the region, attacked and set fire to the mausoleum of the Muslim scholar Sidi Mahmoud Ben Amar on 4 May. His grave is venerated by many local Muslims who visit to receive blessings. According to local reports, the doors, windows and gates to the tomb were broken before the rebels set fire to the tomb itself.

The director-general of Unesco, Irina Bokova, condemned the attack on the tomb, calling the desecration “a sign of change for the worse”. She also stressed that Mali’s cultural heritage “is our common property, and nothing can justify damaging it”. Lazare Eloundou Assomo, the chief of the Africa unit of Unesco’s World Heritage Centre, warns of future risks. “We know that the [rebels] have threatened to destroy other mausoleums if the community continues to visit these tombs to receive benedictions.” He adds: “The community is taking action to protect its cultural heritage because it’s too dangerous for anyone else to enter the region right now.” This appears to be the case as reports have since emerged that armed Islamists attempted to reach the pyramidal tomb of Askia—another World Heritage Site in nearby Gao—but were denied access by locals.

As we went to press, Unesco was sending a mission to the capital city of Bamako (in the south) to meet the transitional government to discuss how to prevent future attacks.


No comments:

BOSES

BOSES

IBALONG

IBALONG

THY WOMB

THY WOMB

PHILIPPINE ART PUBLICATIONS



About This Blog









SECRET FRESH GALLERY

SECRET FRESH GALLERY

DRAWING ROOM

DRAWING ROOM

ALTRO MONDO

ALTRO MONDO

SINDO ARTWALL

SINDO ARTWALL

OARHOUSE

OARHOUSE

AYALA MUSEUM

AYALA MUSEUM

BLANC

BLANC

GSIS MUSEO NG SINING

GSIS MUSEO NG SINING

MUSEO DE LIPA

MUSEO DE LIPA

NAGA CITY ART GALLERY

NAGA CITY ART GALLERY

GALLERIA NICOLAS

GALLERIA NICOLAS

WEST GALLERY

WEST GALLERY

GALLERY ORANGE

GALLERY ORANGE

40TH LIKHANG SINING 2013

40TH LIKHANG SINING 2013

ART FAIR PHILIPPINES 2013

ART FAIR PHILIPPINES 2013

RIZAL ARTS FESTIVAL 2013

RIZAL ARTS FESTIVAL 2013

CINEMA REHIYON 2013

CINEMA REHIYON 2013

VIVA-EXCON LOGO DESIGN COMPETITION

VIVA-EXCON LOGO DESIGN COMPETITION

2013 AMELIA LAPEÑA BONIFACIO LITERARY CONTEST

2013 AMELIA LAPEÑA BONIFACIO LITERARY CONTEST

ANIMAHENASYON 2013 POSTER DESIGN CONTEST

ANIMAHENASYON 2013 POSTER DESIGN CONTEST

  © Blogger template Brownium by Ourblogtemplates.com 2009

Back to TOP