Friday, February 1, 2013

Timbuktu Library Update

It looks like early Islamic manuscripts thought to have been burned by fleeing Islamic fanatics associated with an al-Qaeda offshoot  may not have been destroyed after all.  If so, this is welcome news, though the situation still seems rather bleak.

This also once again raises the larger question of whether the assumptions behind the US MOU with Mali (a state capable of being a good steward for its cultural resources) are faulty.  Certainly, even when renewal of Mali's MOU was being considered, there was no reason to consider Mali anything but a failed state incapable of undertaking its own obligations under the UNESCO Convention to protect its cultural patrimony.

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