Restoration of the historic libraries of Chinguetti, Mauritania
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Keywords

Arquitectura local
Manuscritos
Arquitectura en tierra
Artesanos
Comunidad Local architecture
Manuscripts
Earthen architecture
Craftspeople
Community

Abstract

The ancient ksar of Chinguetti was named a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1996. It is located in West Africa, on one of the most important caravan trading routes, in use from the eighth century until the beginning of the twentieth century. The trans-Sahara traffic – mainly based on products such as salt, gold and ivory – also fostered cultural development along the route. As commercial, cultural and religious contacts were established over the centuries, manuscripts were constantly being written, copied, carried, bought and sold. Following a failed attempt to build a museum to house Chinguetti’s most important manuscripts in 2000, the Spanish Agency for International Development Cooperation (AECID) decided to restore every traditional library within the ksar, the actual places where the ancient manuscripts have been kept for generations. Terrachidia NGO has spearheaded the Libraries Preservation Project, using traditional building techniques and local materials and labour to carry out these restorations.
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References

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