Focus – Desert libraries in Mauritania: Treasures in need of protection

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Remarkable treasures lie dormant in Mauritania. Thousands of manuscripts and books dating back to the 12th and 13th century are housed in libraries in the city of Chinguetti, the site of an ancient trading route. These ancient books were left by pilgrims on their way to Mecca or brought back from countries across the Islamic world. But the conservation of these rare works is a colossal challenge. They are threatened by extreme heat, termites and desert sands. Our colleagues at France 2 report, with FRANCE 24’s Jennie Shin.

A programme prepared by Patrick Lovett and Wassim Cornet.