UNESCO welcomes restoration of sacred gate of Sidi Yahia in Timbuktu; UNESCO

The sacred gate of the mosque of Sidi Yahia in Timbuktu, which bears testimony to cultural traditions dating back to the 15th century CE, was officially reinstalled on 19 September in a ceremony organized by the inhabitants of the World Heritage site.

The gate, regarded as sacred, had been pulled out and damaged on 2 July 2012 by armed extremists who occupied the city. The restoration and reinstallation of this ancient protective symbol of the city was carried out by local wood workers with the support of UNESCO.

The Director-General of UNESCO, Irina Bokova, welcomed the event stressing the importance of heritage protection for the resilience of communities. “The reinstallation of the sacred gate, a religious and cultural landmark of Timbuktu, marks a new and decisive step in Mali’s reconstruction and peace building work.”

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