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Timbuktu

Mali
Factors affecting the property in 2014*
  • Deliberate destruction of heritage
  • Management systems/ management plan
  • War
Factors* affecting the property identified in previous reports
  • Lack of management structure at the site;
  • Armed conflict.
Threats for which the property was inscribed on the List of World Heritage in Danger
  • Occupation of the site by armed groups,
  • Absence of management,
  • Destruction of 9 of the 16 mausoleums of the property and 2 mauseoluems of the Djingareyberre Mosque, as well as the western door of the Sidi Yahia Mosque.

 

Desired state of conservation for the removal of the property from the List of World Heritage in Danger

In progress 

Corrective Measures for the property

In progress

Timeframe for the implementation of the corrective measures
In progress
UNESCO Extra-Budgetary Funds until 2014

Total amount granted: 100,000 USD from the Italian Funds-in-Trust; UNESCO Emergency Fund: 55,000 USD

International Assistance: requests for the property until 2014
Requests approved: 7 (from 1981-2012)
Total amount approved : 188,315 USD
Missions to the property until 2014**

2002, 2004, 2005, 2006: World Heritage Centre missions; 2008, 2009 and 2010 joint World Heritage Centre/ ICOMOS reactive monitoring missions; May, October and December 2012: UNESCO Emergency missions to Mali. June 2013: UNESCO assessment mission to Timbuktu

Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 2014

The State Party submitted a report on the state of conservation of Timbuktu on 22 March 2014. This report is available at: https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/119/documents/. The following activities established in the framework of the UNESCO Action Plan adopted on 18 February 2013, following Decision 37 COM7A.19, are contained in this report:

  • The reopening in July 2013 of the offices of the Timbuktu Cultural Mission and resumption of the daily management activities of the World Heritage property.
  • The creation by the Ministry of Culture on 31 May 2013 of the National Committee for the Restoration of Cultural Heritage in the northern regions of Mali, and a technical support unit for the implementation of the Action Plan of 6 August 2013 (Decision No. 000138).  These two bodies now provide technical support to the National Directorate of Cultural Heritage and the Timbuktu Cultural Mission.
  • The organization of several joint missions of national and international experts to gather historical, anthropological and architectural data on the mausoleums of saints destroyed at Timbuktu (August and October 2013) as well as on the libraries of manuscripts (November 2013).
  • The organization at Mopti (December 2013) of a training workshop for masons from Timbuktu, Gao, Djenne and Bandiagara to enable an exchange on different construction and maintenance techniques.
  • The preparation of a strategy document on the reconstruction of mausoleums, in close consultation with the imams of the World Heritage mosques, the chief masons and the families responsible for the management of the mausoleums. This strategy document shall be transmitted to ICOMOS for comment and to the World Heritage Committee for approval at its 38th session (Doha, 2014).
  • The commencement of the reconstruction work of the mausoleums, 14 March 2014, that first of all concerned the two mausoleums Sheik Babadjer and Amadou Fulani, alongside the outer west wall of the Djingareyber Mosque.

The State Party’s report also makes mention of an attack on 28 September 2013, at the military camp of Albakaye Kounta located 200m from the Djingareyber Mosque. This suicide attack caused major damage to the three mosques of the town and to numerous surrounding buildings and houses. Urgent consolidation work has been carried out thanks to financial support from UNESCO.

Analysis and Conclusion by World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies in 2014

In addition to the information provided by this report, efforts undertaken to raise funds through UNESCO and Mali should be mentioned and 3 million dollars, of the required 11 million USD for the rehabilitation and reconstruction of Mali’s cultural heritage affected by the crisis, including Timbuktu, have been raised from the following donors: Switzerland, European Union, International Association of Francophone Mayors (AIMF), Norway, The Netherlands, Kingdom of Bahrain, African World Heritage Fund (AWHF), Croatia, Andorra and Mauritius.

The very many positive actions implemented by the State Party with the aim of ensuring the reconstruction of the mausoleums without risking loss to the Outstanding Universal Value should be noted.  The various historical and architectural studies carried out will provide a better understanding of the cultural significance of these elements, document the degree of destruction and better envisage the logical choice of reconstruction for each of the mausoleums. The importance of the work of gathering all documentation on each of the mausoleums should also be recalled, given the character and unique specificity of each one of them.  The need to provide a detailed justification of the technical choices resulting in their respective reconstruction should also be noted.  The State Party is encouraged to accomplish the documentation work begun in June 2013, as well as all the studies and diagnostics which are still required to define the different technical choices for reconstruction, and the physical state to which each of these mausoleums will be reconstructed.

It is recommended that the Committee take note with satisfaction of the preparation of a restoration and reconstruction strategy of the damaged cultural heritage of northern Mali, that details the reconstruction method of the destroyed mausoleums and in particular appreciates the important place accorded to the role of the communities and especially to the responsible families and the corporation of masons in this process.  The approach which consists of proceeding by stages, first with the two mausoleums of the Djingareyber Mosque and in documenting daily this reconstruction to better understand the organization of the construction work, the working relations between the masons and the owner families and the planning of the reconstruction of the remaining mausoleums, is also welcomed. It is recommended that the World Heritage Committee recommend to the State Party to initiate the revision of the conservation and management plan of the property. The gradual return of the communities displaced due to the conflict is also a positive indicator enabling the sustainable maintenance and conservation of the architectural elements of the property.

Finally, it is also recommended that the World Heritage Committee request the State Party to invite a reactive monitoring mission to Timbuktu, to evaluate the reconstruction work of the mausoleums, the restoration of the mosques and the overall conservation of the property.

Decisions adopted by the Committee in 2014
38 COM 7A.24
Timbuktu (Mali) (C 119rev)

The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Having examined Document WHC-14/38.COM/7A.Add,
  2. Recalling Decision 37 COM 7A.19, adopted at its 37th session (Phnom Penh, 2013,)
  3. Congratulates the State Party for having accomplished significant progress enabling the commencement of the reconstruction of the mausoleums on 14 March 2014;
  4. Notes with satisfaction the preparation of a restoration and reconstruction strategy for damaged cultural heritage in northern Mali detailing the reconstruction method for the destroyed mausoleums, and appreciates the place accorded to the role of the communities, the responsible families and the corporation of masons in this process;
  5. Warmly welcomes the reconstruction of the two mausoleums alongside the outer west wall of the Djingareyber Mosque (Sheik Babadjer and Amadou Fulani), as well as the daily documentation work undertake throughout this reconstruction so as to better understand the organization of the work, the working relations between the masons and the owner families and planning the reconstruction of the remaining mausoleums;
  6. Recalls the importance of the work concerning the constitution of documentation provided for each of the mausoleums, taking into account the character and unique specificity of each of them, and encourages the State Party to accomplish the documentation work, begun in June 2013, as well as all the studies and diagnostics that are still required to define the different technical reconstruction solutions, and the physical state to which each of the mausoleums should be restored and to submit the results for examination;
  7. Thanks all the countries and institutions that have contributed financially to the UNESCO and Mali Action Plan, adopted on 18 February 2013 in Paris, and more particularly Switzerland, the European Union, the International Association of Francophone Mayors (AIMF), Norway, The Netherlands, the Kingdom of Bahrain, African World Heritage Fund (AWHF), Croatia, Andorra and Mauritius;
  8. Requests the State Party to invite a joint World Heritage Centre/ ICOMOS/ICCROM mission to evaluate the general state of conservation of the property and progress achieved in the reconstruction of the mausoleums and the restoration of the mosques, and prepare all the corrective measures as well as a Desired State of Conservation for removal of the property from the List of World Heritage in Danger;
  9. Also requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 February 2015, a report, including a 1-page executive summary, on the state of conservation of the property and progress in the implementation of the above-mentioned points, for examination by the World Heritage Committee at its 39th session in 2015;
  10. Decides to continue the application of the Reinforced Monitoring Mechanism of the property;
  11. Decides to retain Timbuktu (Mali) on the List of World Heritage in Danger.
38 COM 8C.2
Update of the List of World Heritage in Danger (retained sites)

The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Having examined the state of conservation reports of properties inscribed on the List of World Heritage in Danger (WHC-14/38.COM/7A and WHC-14/38.COM/7A.Add),
  2. Decides to retain the following properties on the List of World Heritage in Danger:
  • Afghanistan, Minaret and Archaeological Remains of Jam (Decision 38 COM 7A.14)
  • Afghanistan, Cultural Landscape and Archaeological Remains of the Bamiyan Valley (Decision 38 COM 7A.15)
  • Belize, Belize Barrier Reef Reserve System (Decision 38 COM 7A.31)
  • Central African Republic, Manovo-Gounda St Floris National Park (Decision 38 COM 7A.34)
  • Chile, Humberstone and Santa Laura Saltpeter Works (Decision 38 COM 7A.21)
  • Colombia, Los Katíos National Park (Decision 38 COM 7A.32)
  • Côte d'Ivoire, Comoé National Park (Decision 38 COM 7A.35)
  • Côte d'Ivoire / Guinea, Mount Nimba Strict Nature Reserve (Decision 38 COM 7A.36)
  • Democratic Republic of the Congo, Virunga National Park (Decision 38 COM 7A.37)
  • Democratic Republic of the Congo, Kahuzi-Biega National Park (Decision 38 COM 7A.38)
  • Democratic Republic of the Congo, Garamba National Park (Decision 38 COM 7A.39)
  • Democratic Republic of the Congo, Salonga National Park (Decision 38 COM 7A.40)
  • Democratic Republic of the Congo, Okapi Wildlife Reserve (Decision 38 COM 7A.41)
  • Egypt, Abu Mena (Decision 38 COM 7A.1)
  • Ethiopia, Simien National Park (Decision 38 COM 7A.43)
  • Georgia, Bagrati Cathedral and Gelati Monastery (Decision 38 COM 7A.16)
  • Georgia, Historical Monuments of Mtskheta (Decision 38 COM 7A.17)
  • Honduras, Río Plátano Biosphere Reserve (Decision 38 COM 7A.33)
  • Indonesia, Tropical Rainforest Heritage of Sumatra (Decision 38 COM 7A.28)
  • Iraq, Ashur (Qal'at Sherqat) (Decision 38 COM 7A.2)
  • Iraq, Samarra Archaeological City (Decision 38 COM 7A.3)
  • Jerusalem, Old City of Jerusalem and its Walls (Decision 38 COM 7A.4)
  • Madagascar, Rainforests of the Atsinanana (Decision 38 COM 7A.44)
  • Mali, Timbuktu (Decision 38 COM 7A.24)
  • Mali, Tomb of Askia (Decision 38 COM 7A.25)
  • Niger, Air and Ténéré Natural Reserves (Decision 38 COM 7A.45)
  • Palestine, Birthplace of Jesus: Church of the Nativity and the Pilgrimage Route, Bethlehem (Decision 38 COM 7A.5)
  • Panama, Fortifications on the Caribbean Side of Panama: Portobelo-San Lorenzo (Decision 38 COM 7A.20)
  • Peru, Chan Chan Archaelogical Zone (Decision 38 COM 7A.22)
  • Senegal, Niokolo-Koba National Park (Decision 38 COM 7A.46)
  • Serbia, Medieval Monuments in Kosovo (Decision 38 COM 7A.18)
  • Solomon Islands, East Rennell (Decision 38 COM 7A.29)
  • Syrian Arab Republic, Ancient City of Damascus (Decision 38 COM 7A.12)
  • Syrian Arab Republic, Ancient City of Bosra (Decision 38 COM 7A.12)
  • Syrian Arab Republic, Site of Palmyra (Decision 38 COM 7A.12)
  • Syrian Arab Republic, Ancient City of Aleppo (Decision 38 COM 7A.12)
  • Syrian Arab Republic, Crac des Chevaliers and Qal’at Salah El-Din (Decision 38 COM 7A.12)
  • Syrian Arab Republic, Ancient Villages of Northern Syria (Decision 38 COM 7A.12)
  • Uganda, Tombs of Buganda Kings at Kasubi (Decision 38 COM 7A.26)
  • United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, Liverpool – Maritime Mercantile City (Decision 38 COM 7A.19)
  • United States of America, Everglades National Park (Decision 38 COM 7A.30)
  • Venezuela, Coro and its Port (Decision 38 COM 7A.23)
  • Yemen, Historic Town of Zabid (Decision 38 COM 7A.13)
Draft Decision:  38 COM 7A.24

The World Heritage Committee,

1.  Having examined Document WHC-14/38.COM/7A.Add,

2.  Recalling Decision 37 COM 7A.19, adopted at its 37th session (Phnom Penh, 2013,)

3.  Congratulates the State Party for having accomplished significant progress enabling the commencement of the reconstruction of the mausoleums on 14 March 2014;

4.  Notes with satisfaction the preparation of a restoration and reconstruction strategy for damaged cultural heritage in northern Mali detailing the reconstruction method for the destroyed mausoleums, and appreciates the place accorded to the role of the communities, the responsible families and the corporation of masons in this process;

5.  Warmly welcomes the reconstruction of the two mausoleums alongside the outer west wall of the Djingareyber Mosque (Sheik Babadjer and Amadou Fulani), as well as the daily documentation work undertake throughout this reconstruction so as to better understand the organization of the work, the working relations between the masons and the owner families and planning the reconstruction of the remaining mausoleums;

6.  Recalls the importance of the work concerning the constitution of documentation provided for each of the mausoleums, taking into account the character and unique specificity of each of them, and encourages the State Party to accomplish the documentation work, begun in June 2013, as well as all the studies and diagnostics that are still required to define the different technical reconstruction solutions, and the physical state to which each of the mausoleums should be restored and to submit the results for examination; 

7.  Thanks all the countries and institutions that have contributed financially to the UNESCO and Mali Action Plan, adopted on 18 February 2013 in Paris, and more particularly Switzerland, the European Union, the International Association of Francophone Mayors (AIMF), Norway, The Netherlands, the Kingdom of Bahrain, African World Heritage Fund (AWHF), Croatia, Andorra and Mauritius;

8.  Requests the State Party to invite a joint World Heritage Centre/ ICOMOS/ICCROM mission to evaluate the general state of conservation of the property and progress achieved in the reconstruction of the mausoleums and the restoration of the mosques, and prepare all the corrective measures as well as a Desired State of Conservation for removal of the property from the List of World Heritage in Danger;

9.  Also requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 February 2015, a report, including a 1-page executive summary, on the state of conservation of the property and progress in the implementation of the above-mentioned points, for examination by the World Heritage Committee at its 39th session in 2015;

10.  Decides to continue the application of the Reinforced Monitoring Mechanism of the property;

11.  Decides to retain Timbuktu (Mali) on the List of World Heritage in Danger.

Report year: 2014
Mali
Date of Inscription: 1988
Category: Cultural
Criteria: (ii)(iv)(v)
Danger List (dates): 1990-2005, 2012-present
Documents examined by the Committee
SOC Report by the State Party
Report (2014) .pdf
arrow_circle_right 38COM (2014)
Exports

* : The threats indicated are listed in alphabetical order; their order does not constitute a classification according to the importance of their impact on the property.
Furthermore, they are presented irrespective of the type of threat faced by the property, i.e. with specific and proven imminent danger (“ascertained danger”) or with threats which could have deleterious effects on the property’s Outstanding Universal Value (“potential danger”).

** : All mission reports are not always available electronically.


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