Iconoclasts and zealots stay true to form and attempt to destroy whatever doesn’t fit into their narrow narrative of history. Thankfully in this situation they were largely thwarted.

“The New York-based Ford Foundation, the German and Dutch governments, and an Islamic center in Dubai provided most of the funds for the operation, which cost about $1 million.“We took a big risk to save our heritage,” said Abdel Kader Haidara, a prominent preservationist who once loaned 16th- and 18th-century manuscripts from his family’s private collection to the Library of Congress. “This is not only the city’s heritage, it is the heritage of all humanity.””

An unlikely cast of characters rescued the ancient city’s treasured manuscripts from jihadists.

Read it all: How Timbuktu’s manuscripts were saved from jihadists

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