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January 27 2013

Mali's ancient treasures are too valuable to be buried again

The ancient manuscripts of Timbuktu are a door into Africa's golden age. We must not let this crisis threaten their survival

There is an old African proverb: "When two elephants fight, it is the grass that suffers." Once again in its 800-year history, the fabled city of Timbuktu, a Unesco world heritage site, and its rich intellectual and literary heritage are under threat from both the marauding rebel groups that now occupy the desert cities of northern Mali and the foreign troops marshalled to "liberate" it from them.

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