UN to help Mali rebuild heritage sites damaged in conflict

UNESCO, the UN’s cultural organisation, has backed a $1m plan to help restore Malian heritage damaged by recent armed conflict.

This plan will focus on central Mali as recent inter-communal fighting destroyed many villages in the area known as the Land of the Dogon.

It was declared a World Heritage Site in 1989.

The UN body has teamed up on this project with the Switzerland-based International Alliance for the Protection of Heritage in Conflict Areas, which is providing the money.

The loss of both buildings and artefacts due to the conflict in the area resulted in the “deterioration of cultural practices and traditions of the Dogon, Peuls, Bozo, Bambara and Sonrhai groups”, UNESCO said in a statement.

The $1m project will take place over the next three years and aims to restore the damaged architectural heritage “notably housing, granaries and sites dedicated to traditional culture, as well as to restore the production of cultural objects, and safeguard ceremonial objects in a memorial collection”, UNESCO said.

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