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Mon Jan 28, 2013, 07:55 AM

 

Mali rebels fleeing Timbuktu burn library full of ancient manuscripts

Last edited Thu Jan 31, 2013, 08:37 PM - Edit history (1)

Source: The Gaurdian

Update: Thankfully this did not happen:

Timbuktu manuscripts mostly safe, university says

JOHANNESBURG (AP) —Islamist extremists damaged or stole only a limited number of manuscripts in Timbuktu in Mali before they fled the fabled desert city, a South African university said Wednesday.

People in the north Malian city who have knowledge of the documents reported that there was no malicious destruction of any library or collection, said the University of Cape Town, which helped fund a state-of-the-art library to house manuscripts.

"The custodians of the libraries worked quietly throughout the rebel occupation of Timbuktu to ensure the safety of their materials," said the university. Islamist rebels have been in control of Timbuktu for nearly 10 months.

The university said that a report from Britain's Sky News that 25,000 manuscripts had been burned was false. Other news reports quoted the city mayor, who wasn't in the city, saying manuscripts had been destroyed, the university said.

More: http://bigstory.ap.org/article/timbuktu-manuscripts-mostly-safe-university-says

----------

Original article:

Islamist insurgents retreating from the ancient Saharan city of Timbuktu have set fire to a library containing thousands of priceless ancient manuscripts, some dating back to the 13th century, in what the town's mayor described as a "devastating blow" to world heritage.

Hallé Ousmani Cissé told the Guardian that al-Qaida-allied fighters on Saturday torched two buildings where the manuscripts were being kept. They also burned down the town hall and governor's office, and shot dead a man who was celebrating the arrival of the French military.

French troops and the Malian army reached the gates of Timbuktu on Saturday and secured the town's airport. But they appear to have got there too late to save the leather-bound manuscripts, which were a unique record of sub-Saharan Africa's medieval history.

"It's true. They have burned them," Ciffe said, in a phone interview from Mali's capital, Bamako. "They also burned down several buildings. There was one guy who was celebrating in the street and they shot him."

Read more: http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2013/jan/28/mali-timbuktu-library-ancient-manuscripts

47 replies, 4500 views

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Reply Mali rebels fleeing Timbuktu burn library full of ancient manuscripts (Original post)
UnrepentantLiberal Jan 2013 OP
annabanana Jan 2013 #1
Occulus Jan 2013 #42
Prometheus Bound Jan 2013 #44
DCBob Jan 2013 #2
dotymed Jan 2013 #3
jberryhill Jan 2013 #5
cbrer Jan 2013 #4
NoMoreWarNow Jan 2013 #6
Beacool Jan 2013 #12
Plucketeer Jan 2013 #16
csziggy Jan 2013 #21
mojowork_n Jan 2013 #24
ybbor Jan 2013 #32
mojowork_n Jan 2013 #34
Alamuti Lotus Feb 2013 #46
cbrer Feb 2013 #47
Odin2005 Jan 2013 #7
RILib Jan 2013 #8
pangaia Jan 2013 #9
Coyotl Jan 2013 #14
Earth_First Jan 2013 #10
Beacool Jan 2013 #11
blackspade Jan 2013 #13
awoke_in_2003 Jan 2013 #15
madrchsod Jan 2013 #17
Sunlei Jan 2013 #20
Xithras Jan 2013 #25
Sunlei Jan 2013 #28
Xithras Jan 2013 #31
KamaAina Jan 2013 #29
Posteritatis Jan 2013 #33
Sunlei Jan 2013 #18
DavidDvorkin Jan 2013 #30
RZM Jan 2013 #19
iandhr Jan 2013 #22
Third Doctor Jan 2013 #23
hrmjustin Jan 2013 #26
struggle4progress Jan 2013 #27
ellisonz Jan 2013 #35
Tx4obama Jan 2013 #36
mike_c Jan 2013 #37
jsr Jan 2013 #38
another_liberal Jan 2013 #39
Alamuti Lotus Jan 2013 #40
FiveGoodMen Jan 2013 #43
UnrepentantLiberal Jan 2013 #45
FiveGoodMen Jan 2013 #41

Response to UnrepentantLiberal (Original post)

Mon Jan 28, 2013, 08:12 AM

1. Damn I HATE this crap.. . .n/t

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Response to Occulus (Reply #42)

Thu Jan 31, 2013, 06:27 PM

44. Thanks for that.

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Response to UnrepentantLiberal (Original post)

Mon Jan 28, 2013, 08:24 AM

2. sickening.

I was worried something like this might happen. evil sick bastards.

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Response to UnrepentantLiberal (Original post)

Mon Jan 28, 2013, 08:26 AM

3. IMO, museums should be "secured" first.

Maybe we will eventually learn through history. It IS all there....

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Response to dotymed (Reply #3)

Mon Jan 28, 2013, 08:33 AM

5. There's not much that can be secured in advance of the airport


It's trackless desert for hundreds of miles in any direction. The rebels torched the place before anyone got there. You can't get there until you get there.

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Response to UnrepentantLiberal (Original post)

Mon Jan 28, 2013, 08:27 AM

4. The library of Alexandria

 

The museum of Baghdad. The ancient history museum of Kabul. Now this.

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Response to cbrer (Reply #4)

Mon Jan 28, 2013, 08:36 AM

6. it's indeed a sad pattern of history

 

what the FUCK is the matter with people who do this?

God, people are so incredibly evil and dumb.

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Response to cbrer (Reply #4)

Mon Jan 28, 2013, 09:47 AM

12. Ignorance.

Most of these fundamentalists are not well educated people. Heck, most of them can't read or write. Why would they value these treasures? My heart weeps for all the history destroyed in Iraq, Afghanistan (I still cringe over the two Buddhas) and any other nation where the extremist take hold.

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Response to Beacool (Reply #12)

Mon Jan 28, 2013, 10:58 AM

16. You make a valid point, of course

but it's not just a matter of ignorance that artifacts like these are destroyed. What's even more insidious is the determined discrediting of history and truth without ever lighting one match.

This is what happens when someone leaves the cork out of religion bottle. Look at the deliberate RE-writing of this countrys history and science annals! Thomas Jefferson is being pushed out of new textbooks - his enlightened thinking, a threat to fundamentalists ideals. The deliberate elbowing aside of scientific fact - in favor of the ludicrous tales from the old testament.

The rebels that torched the library - quite possible none of them could read. But I'd easily agree that they might well have been directed to do this by zealots who WANT the ignorance that religions RELY ON to prevail among those who only get their knowledge from those who fancy themselves as prophets.

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Response to Beacool (Reply #12)

Mon Jan 28, 2013, 11:20 AM

21. It's not just fundamentalists who are willing to destroy cultural objects

Ancient Buddhas, Modern Peril
By ANDREW LAWLER
Published: December 22, 2012

WHEN the Taliban blasted the famous Bamiyan Buddhas with artillery and dynamite in March 2001, leaders of many faiths and countries denounced the destruction as an act of cultural terrorism. But today, with the encouragement of the American government, Chinese engineers are preparing a similar act of desecration in Afghanistan: the demolition of a vast complex of richly decorated ancient Buddhist monasteries.

The offense of this Afghan monument is not idolatry. Its sin is to sit atop one of the world’s largest copper deposits.

The copper at the Mes Aynak mine, just an hour’s drive south of Kabul, is to be extracted under a roughly $3 billion deal signed in 2007 between Afghanistan and China’s Metallurgical Group Corporation. The Afghan finance minister, Omar Zakhilwal, recently said the project could pump $300 million a year into government coffers by 2016. But the project has been plagued by rumors of corruption; there was widespread talk of a $30 million kickback involving the former minister of mines, who resigned.

In 2009, archaeologists were given a three-year deadline to salvage what they could at Mes Aynak, but raising money, securing equipment and finding experienced excavators took up more than half of that time. So the focus now is solely on rescuing objects. An international team of archaeologists is scrambling to save what it can before the end of this month, when it must vacate the central mining zone, at the heart of the Buddhist complex.

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/12/23/opinion/sunday/chinese-led-copper-mining-threatens-afghan-buddhist-monasteries.html?_r=0

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Response to cbrer (Reply #4)

Mon Jan 28, 2013, 12:54 PM

24. The library of Alexandria? That was in ancient times. 4th Century A.D.

A little more recently, the same sort of thing in Syria as well:

http://www.counterpunch.org/2013/01/25/us-led-sanctions-contribute-to-the-destruction-of-syrias-millenary-history/

According to archeological experts here, Syria, with its six UNESCO world heritage sites testifying to its deserved reputation as being one of the most archeologically well-preserved cradles of civilization, may soon to be the most wantonly destroyed in modern times (Iraq being the other). This frequently-predicted catastrophe is a result, not only of war in the usual sense, but war in it’s more subtle form of US-led sanctions aimed at political regime change.


In Baghdad, the looting of antiquities was allowed to occur (in part) because U.S. invasion troops only bothered to secure the Oil Ministry building. Everything else was left wide open for looters.

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Response to mojowork_n (Reply #24)

Mon Jan 28, 2013, 03:47 PM

32. The museum in Baghdad was destroyed in 1258

It was a gem like Alexandria. Actually contained the artifacts saved from Alexandria. It was destroyed by the Ghengis Khan's grandson troops after a siege and the entire city was sacked. I don't like using Wiki as a source, but here is a decent history of the event:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Siege_of_Baghdad_%281258%29

It is a wonder what has been lost due to needless violence and destruction! This is just one more occurrence of what I'm afraid will be many more. Sad.

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Response to ybbor (Reply #32)

Mon Jan 28, 2013, 05:37 PM

34. Picked clean again in 2003

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/middle-east/revealed-the-real-story-behind-the-great-iraq-museum-thefts-515067.html

Ignore the journalist's sensationalist allegations about the "biggest museum theft in history." It's also probably a really bad idea to use this article as any kind of measuring stick or gauge on what part of the collection was ripped off. They're simply quoting straight numbers.... The museum had something like 500,000 pieces/articles and roughly 14,000 were stolen. But thieves had the run of the place for 36 hours. What they didn't steal were probably the bits of broken pottery and marble in big drawers in the basement.

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Response to cbrer (Reply #4)

Fri Feb 1, 2013, 12:59 AM

46. Alexandria was torched by the early Christians..

 

Baghdad & Alamut (the latter possibly a far greater loss in terms of learning, the former in terms of pure loss of life) sacked by the Mongols, Kabul looted by the British. Bizarre examples to cite when apparently trying to defame Muslims.

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Response to Alamuti Lotus (Reply #46)

Fri Feb 1, 2013, 03:25 AM

47. Defaming Muslims?

 

Scarcely.

I weep over what the world has lost. The sciences of Persia were world renowned in their advancement. This is a HUMAN tragedy (again). Pure and simple.

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Response to UnrepentantLiberal (Original post)

Mon Jan 28, 2013, 08:52 AM

7. Evil bastards!

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Response to UnrepentantLiberal (Original post)


Response to RILib (Reply #8)

Mon Jan 28, 2013, 09:05 AM

9. Thanks Hillary ????? WTF

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Response to pangaia (Reply #9)

Mon Jan 28, 2013, 10:39 AM

14. Tombstoned troll!

Bye, bye to that one. I wonder what name this troll will chose next?

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Response to RILib (Reply #8)

Mon Jan 28, 2013, 09:09 AM

10. Please explain how this has anything to do with the SoS Clinton...

Has she put a US foreign policy before the world that supports burning libraries?

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Response to RILib (Reply #8)

Mon Jan 28, 2013, 09:43 AM

11. Thanks, Hillary?????????

I think that you're on the wrong site.

BTW, I'm glad that the French seized control of Timbuktu. The Islamists had threatened to destroy the city's antiquities. Similar situation as to that of the two magnificent Buddhas that the Taliban destroyed years ago in Afghanistan.

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Response to UnrepentantLiberal (Original post)

Mon Jan 28, 2013, 10:32 AM

13. Fucking scumbags.

These assholes are truly the enemies of humanity.

I also love how the fucking airport is 'secured' but priceless world heritage burns.
Just like in Iraq, Afghanistan, and other war zones.

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Response to UnrepentantLiberal (Original post)

Mon Jan 28, 2013, 10:40 AM

15. All done in the name of god. nt

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Response to UnrepentantLiberal (Original post)

Mon Jan 28, 2013, 11:05 AM

17. they destroyed all the musical instruments in the areas they overran..

the foundation of american blues started in arabia ,traveled to mali ,then to america`s south.

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Response to madrchsod (Reply #17)

Mon Jan 28, 2013, 11:16 AM

20. I pray the Mali band Tinariwen are ok, love their music. Do you know? will donate new instruments.

Tinariwen

<iframe width="640" height="360" src="?feature=player_detailpage" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

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Response to Sunlei (Reply #20)

Mon Jan 28, 2013, 01:11 PM

25. One of them was arrested last month.

Don't know which, but there was a brief media blip after one of the band members was arrested by the rebels last month and accused of making non-Islamic music. I haven't heard anything since, and don't know if he's been freed, or if something worse has happened (the Islamists had previously threatened to execute anyone playing "satanic" music).

I agree and hope they're OK. Aman Iman is still one of my favorite world music albums of the past decade.

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Response to Xithras (Reply #25)

Mon Jan 28, 2013, 01:58 PM

28. That is very upsetting, sad news about the arrest of the band member of Tinariwen

al qaeda rebels have done a lot of damage to the Mali society in a very short time. I wish the entire world had stood up the first day they attacked.

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Response to Sunlei (Reply #28)

Mon Jan 28, 2013, 03:12 PM

31. I did some digging...

...while I couldn't find anything definitive, I did come across a Tumblr blog discussing his arrest that said he was later released without being harmed. I have no idea what the blogs source was, but there's at least some indication that the story may have had a happy ending.

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Response to Sunlei (Reply #20)

Mon Jan 28, 2013, 02:07 PM

29. A good friend is deeply enough into Malian music

that Tinariwen is too mainstream for her! I wonder how her favorite bands are doing.

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Response to Sunlei (Reply #20)

Mon Jan 28, 2013, 05:28 PM

33. I keep hearing that Mali has an incredible music scene

Like that's one of the points I keep hearing repeated all over the place as this whole thing goes on; I don't think I'd heard a country singled out in that regard before, and it's certainly got me curious at this point.

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Response to UnrepentantLiberal (Original post)

Mon Jan 28, 2013, 11:12 AM

18. hopefully they have everything saved digital, it is a shame of the physical loss.

Thank God the French are helping push out the al-Qaida- barbarian hordes. Mali is a beautiful country!!

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Response to Sunlei (Reply #18)

Mon Jan 28, 2013, 02:09 PM

30. Very little had been digitized, unfortunately

According to another article I read about this today.

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Response to UnrepentantLiberal (Original post)

Mon Jan 28, 2013, 11:12 AM

19. Heckuva job, Al-Quaida in the Islamic Maghreb-ey

 

Losers.

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Response to UnrepentantLiberal (Original post)

Mon Jan 28, 2013, 11:49 AM

22. Wow

Yesterday people on this site were praising a Belgian MP calling the French intervention a neo-colonailsit plot.



http://www.democraticunderground.com/101794736


Glad people are coming to their senses.

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Response to UnrepentantLiberal (Original post)

Mon Jan 28, 2013, 11:58 AM

23. Extremists of every stripe.

Have a very narrow view of the world and history (mostly wrong too) and will try to erase evidence of things that existed before their faith or just a lack of respect for other cultures or views. We have a some here in the US that are just as nuts but better armed.

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Response to UnrepentantLiberal (Original post)

Mon Jan 28, 2013, 01:14 PM

26. This is a truly sad thing to hear.

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Response to UnrepentantLiberal (Original post)

Mon Jan 28, 2013, 01:48 PM

27. French military says forces have entered Timbuktu, Mali but do not yet control it


By Associated Press, Updated: Monday, January 28, 12:43 PM

SEVARE, Mali — Malian soldiers entered the city of Timbuktu on Monday after al-Qaida-linked militants fled into the desert having set ablaze a library that held thousands of ancient manuscripts ablaze.

French Col. Thierry Burkhard, the chief military spokesman in Paris, said that there had been no combat with the Islamists who have ruled Timbuktu for nearly 10 months, but that the forces did not yet control the town as of Monday afternoon ...

http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/africa/malian-town-of-gao-celebrates-exit-of-islamist-extremists-as-french-malian-forces-push-north/2013/01/28/629caec4-6927-11e2-9a0b-db931670f35d_story.html

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Response to struggle4progress (Reply #27)

Mon Jan 28, 2013, 08:30 PM

35. Let's hope for a speedy French advance. n/t

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Response to UnrepentantLiberal (Original post)

Mon Jan 28, 2013, 08:34 PM

36. Kick! n/t

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Response to UnrepentantLiberal (Original post)

Mon Jan 28, 2013, 08:35 PM

37. I am heartsick at this news....

Ignorance has just won a great victory against knowledge and understanding.

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Response to UnrepentantLiberal (Original post)

Mon Jan 28, 2013, 08:35 PM

38. Goddamn assholes.

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Response to UnrepentantLiberal (Original post)

Mon Jan 28, 2013, 08:39 PM

39. The ignorance . . .

This is a loss of such magnitude it is truly hard to comprehend. Thousands and thousands of ancient, one-of-a-kind, hand-written manuscripts burnt to ashes. The ignorance of those people, the stunning, uncaring ignorance!

I never really thought they would do this.

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Response to UnrepentantLiberal (Original post)

Thu Jan 31, 2013, 04:41 PM

40. does it bother anybody that this turned out to be completely false?

 

Gullibility is in no short supply, and certain sources know precisely how to yank your chains to get what they want. Babies in incubators, weather balloons of death, imminent WMD threats, viagra handouts, whatever it is -- it is just so cute how you guys will fall for it every time and never question the next steaming pantload put on your plates.

Timbuktu manuscripts mostly safe, university says
JOHANNESBURG (AP) — Islamist extremists damaged or stole only a limited number of manuscripts in Timbuktu in Mali before they fled the fabled desert city, a South African university said Wednesday.

People in the north Malian city who have knowledge of the documents reported that there was no malicious destruction of any library or collection, said the University of Cape Town, which helped fund a state-of-the-art library to house manuscripts.

"The custodians of the libraries worked quietly throughout the rebel occupation of Timbuktu to ensure the safety of their materials," said the university. Islamist rebels have been in control of Timbuktu for nearly 10 months.

The university said that a report from Britain's Sky News that 25,000 manuscripts had been burned was false. Other news reports quoted the city mayor, who wasn't in the city, saying manuscripts had been destroyed, the university said.

http://bigstory.ap.org/article/timbuktu-manuscripts-mostly-safe-university-says

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Response to Alamuti Lotus (Reply #40)

Thu Jan 31, 2013, 05:04 PM

43. Well...

"Media reports said that the Ahmad Baba Institute had been ransacked by the militants. But the university said a senior researcher at the institute, Mohamed Diagayete, said the majority of the manuscripts were stored in an older building elsewhere in the city."

So they only tried to destroy all that stuff, apparently.

An attempted crime is still a crime.

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Response to Alamuti Lotus (Reply #40)

Thu Jan 31, 2013, 08:38 PM

45. I edited the OP

 

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Response to UnrepentantLiberal (Original post)

Thu Jan 31, 2013, 04:56 PM

41. These are the greatest crimes.

To take away from the entire world something we can never replace.

There can hardly be a penalty great enough to serve justice.

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