Browsing All Posts filed under »Africa«

Mali Conflict Puts Timbuktu in Danger

January 28, 2013


In light of the escalating violence in Mali, UNESCO has recently began to urge armed forces to protect Timbuktu’s historic and religious landmarks. As recently reported, the ongoing conflict has posed a grave and imminent threat to Timbuktu’s cultural heritage. According to residents of Timbuktu, the Islamic fighters have already committed severe damage the city’s […]

Cultural Life in Mali: “No one wanted this war.”

September 28, 2012


From an excellent perspective on the cultural decimation in Mali: So much has already been threatened – from the Al-Farouk statue in Timbuktu so unceremoniously decapitated, to the tombs of saints smashed with pick axes, their destruction recorded on mobile phones. Invaluable research work into Mali’s history has been put on hold – the entire […]

Church of the Nativity, Congo, and Xanadu Added to World Heritage List

July 17, 2012


UNESCO has recently added 26 new sites to its World Heritage List. In total, five sites were added to the “natural” category, one site was added to the “mixed” category, and 20 sites were added to the “cultural” category. Over half of the new World Heritage sites are located outside of North America and Europe. […]

Assault on Cultural Heritage in Mali Continues

July 16, 2012


Armed with Kalashnikovs and axes, Islamists occupying northern Mali destroyed ancient Muslim tombs in the Malian city of Timbuktu last Tuesday. Locals watched in shock as the Al-Qaeda-linked group Ansar Dine (Defenders of Faith) committed what the United States has referred to as a cultural “assault.” Last week, the militant group destroyed several sites listed […]

Genocide Skulls Returned to Namibia

October 24, 2011


Germany is returning 20 human skulls to Namibia and issuing a public apology for the events resulting in their possession of the skulls. During the late 19th-century colonial sweep of Africa, Germany colonized Namibia.  Thousands of indigenous people were killed when they revolted against the German command in the first decade of the 20th century.  […]

UN Director-General Says Libya’s Cultural Heritage in Danger

August 29, 2011


Following up on an earlier CPAL article, UN Implores Libya and NATO to Preserve Sites of Ghadamès and Leptis Magna, the UN this week released another statement pertaining to the danger that Libya’s cultural sites face from the current conflict. The statement explains: The Director-General of UNESCO, Irina Bokova, today urged the people of Libya […]

ICE Busts Egyptian Antiquity Smuggling Ring

July 26, 2011


On July 13, 2011, US federal prosecutors announced they were charging antiquities dealers in New York, Michigan, and Dubai in connection with operating an international antiquities smuggling ring.  The ring smuggled Egyptian artifacts into the US, including several sarcophagi.  In a news release, ICE explained: As alleged in the indictment, from approximately October 2008 until […]

UN Implores Libya and NATO to Preserve Sites of Ghadamès and Leptis Magna

June 16, 2011


The United Nations has called on Libya and NATO to protect two cultural heritage sites that have come under threat in the wake of armed conflict. The Old Town of Ghadamès (also called Ghadamès Old City) was inscribed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1986.  UNESCO explains: Ghadamès, known as ‘the pearl of the desert’, […]

UNESCO Sends Team to Egypt, 81 Objects Missing

March 20, 2011


Egypt’s antiquities ministry has released the final result of the post-revolution inventories, which reveal that 81 archaeological objects are missing from their collections. This includes 27 objects from theTel El-Faraein storehouse and 54 from the national museum in Cairo. Egypt’s former antiquities minister, Zahi Hawass, reached out to the international community and asked for help […]

18 Items Looted from Egyptian Museum

February 13, 2011


Eighteen days of riots in Egypt has left the Egyptian Museum short of the same number of pieces, with two wooden carvings of Tutankhamun among the missing.  AP reports: On Jan. 28, as protesters clashed with police early on in the turmoil and burned down the adjacent headquarters of Mubarak’s ruling party, a handful of […]


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