Ploumen delighted with secret operation to save Malian manuscripts

Over the past few months, thousands of ancient documents from the city of Timbuktu in northern Mali have been taken to safety in the utmost secrecy. This operation was funded in part with development funds from the Netherlands. Rebel groups had threatened to destroy the documents

‘People risked their lives to make this happen. I’m happy they succeeded in saving these important pieces of world heritage,’ said Minister for Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation Lilliane Ploumen.

At this point over 95% of the documents have been secured. The operation was a collaborative effort by the Malian Ministries of Culture and of Education, the governor of Timbuktu and the Ahmed Baba Institute, along with the Dutch-supported Malian organisation SAVAMA – DCI and a local organisation. Ms Ploumen complimented the Prince Claus Fund on taking the initiative to help the Malians with this undertaking. ‘This heritage is essential for preserving Mali’s cultural history. In this way the Netherlands is helping to ensure the historical continuity of a war-torn society.’