Minister of State Cornelia Pieper voiced her concern about reports of the further destruction of World Heritage Sites in Timbuktu, Mali. She issued the following statement in Berlin today (29 January):
The repeated reports that are reaching us about the destruction of World Heritage Sites in Mali are worrying. Now historic manuscripts have also been ransacked in Timbuktu. These are of inestimable value and the damage done to them cannot be justified by religious motives.
I hope a halt can quickly be put to this blind destructive fury.
On leaving Timbuktu, Islamists set fire to the Ahmed Baba Centre. The library was home to manuscripts and documents of immeasurable value. It has not yet been possible to assess the extent of the damage.
Since 1988, the city has been on the UNESCO World Heritage List.