Originally published on Wed January 30, 2013 5:35 pm
Credit Eric Feferberg / AFP/Getty Images
Reports from Timbuktu, Mali, on Wednesday indicate that most of the ancient manuscripts at a famed library may have been saved by residents before Islamist radicals had the chance to burn them.
"I can say that the vast majority of the collections appear from our reports not to have been destroyed, damaged or harmed in any way," Shamil Jeppie, an expert on the documents who teaches at the University of Cape Town in South Africa, told Reuters.
In the West African nation of Mali, residents of Timbuktu were cheering in the streets Monday, after the city was liberated by French and Malian forces after months under the harsh rule of Islamist fighters. In a final act of cultural warfare before fleeing Timbuktu, the rebels are reported to have set fire to libraries housing priceless manuscripts.