Timbuktu rebuilds

This item appears on page 62 of the October 2015 issue.

Local stonemasons, with the assistance of UNESCO, in July finished restoring 14 mausoleums in the city of Timbuktu, Mali, three years after Islamic fundamentalists destroyed them. 

Timbuktu dates back to the 13th century, and the entire city is a UNESCO World Heritage site. Its 16 mausoleums, one-room  structures made of stone and mud, are the burial sites and shrines of the city’s founders, considered saints, a status deemed blasphemous by the fundamentalists who invaded the city in 2012. The invaders were driven from Timbuktu in 2013 by a coalition of French and Malian troops.

Using traditional building techniques, the rebuilding process took more than a year and cost over $500,000.