Showing of the documentary, « On the trail of Timbuktu's Manuscripts » and Round table. Tuesday, 15 September 2015 at 3pm, UNESCO Paris (Room I).

A part of humanity’s cultural heritage, exhibitions of art, ancient manuscripts, and places of important memories were vandalized in Tunisia, Iraq and Syria. These losses of cultural assets during times of crisis deprive a nation’s memories, testimonies and materials of the past, but also a precious resource for the nation’s social and economic well-being.

More than ever, it is essential to protect the testimonies, heritage, source of identity and the history and traditions of our culture and those of other populations. How do we protect, preserve, and perpetuate the transmission of this heritage? In what way does education play the best role? This discussion is the focus of the event « Culture and Heritage in Danger: Education as a force for resistance ». The event is created as a space in which to exchange ideas.


« On The Trail of Timbuktu’s Manuscripts », A documentary from Jean Crépu
2014, 52‘, orginal version in French | produced by Ladybirds Films and the National Library of France

In 2012, during the occupation of northern Mali by armed extremists, the incredible rescue of Timbuktu’s ancient manuscripts made headlines and became a symbol for the entire world. This film tells the extraordinary saga of the Malians who risked their lives to save this heritage from the threat of armed groups, and recounts the story of these precious texts in exile.

Round Table

« Culture and Heritage in Danger: Education as a Force for Resistance », facilitated by Meta Tshiteya, director, producer and author of documentaries at France Culture, in the presence of Director Jean Crépu.

  • The holy sites and ancient manuscripts of Timbuktu today: The action plan led by UNESCO for the safeguarding and rehabilitation of the damaged cultural heritage in the North of Mali since 2012.
    by Lazare Eloundou, Chief of the UNESCO office in Mali
  • The library The Knowledge in Bamako and the education of Mali and the engagement of students through the organization of school programs.
    by Aminata Bore, Malian student committed to the education for all. She is one of the personalities of the film « On the Trail of Timbuktu’s Manuscripts ».
  • Cultural Heritage in Syria and Iraq: Destruction and Reconstruction.
    by Véronique Grandpierre, Historical specialist of Mesopotamia, the researcher associated with the multidisciplinary laboratory Identities, cultures, territories (ICT) of the University Paris-Diderot.
  • The action of ADIFLOR, the Association for the international dissemination of French books, journals and books.
    by Marie-Françoise Roy, administrator of ADIFLOR, President of the Friends of Bassiata association which supports schooling of 100 children in Niamey, Niger.

This event is organized jointly by UNESCO and Ladybirds Films, in partnership with: Bibliothèque nationale de France (BnF) | France 5 | TV5 Monde | Radio Télévision Suisse (RTS) | Institut du monde arabe (IMA) | Société civile des auteurs multimédia (SCAM) | France culture.