More than three years after the Islamic Jihadists destroyed Timbuktu’s mausoleums, work started on the renovation of the legendary city, northwest of Mali on Thursday.
The heritage sites were destroyed when the Islamists captured northern Mali in 2012.
The city’s Muslim shrines dates back to Timbuktu’s 15th and 16th century.The place is described as an economic, intellectual and spiritual centre.
Mausoleums are symbols of gathering, grouping, among the saints of Timbuktu
A representative of a family responsible for one of the mausoleums, Alpha Moya, said it is a strong symbol of peace
“Mausoleums are symbols of gathering, grouping, among the saints of Timbuktu, there are saints of all the ethnic groups, Moya said.
A representative of UNESCO, Lazare Eloundou said they are happy to see the buildings restored to its former state.
“ We had seen the brutality of the destructions, and today, this mausoleum stands,” Eloundou said.
To bring the place to its former glory, the team spoke to Timbuktu historians, traditional elders, and looked at old photographs to ensure that buildings looked exactly like the original.
Timbuktu’s rehabilitation project also includes the restoration of the city’s collection of renowned manuscripts. About 4,000 of them have been lost, stolen or burned, while some 10,000 manuscripts were discovered in unsuitable storage conditions.