World

Timbuktu mausoleums restored years after from destruction by Islamic extremists

  • In this photo taken Saturday, July 18, 2015, people attending a ceremony stand near a mausoleum, right, that was restored in Timbuktu, Mali. The 14 mausoleums in Mali’s northern Timbuktu that had been destroyed by Islamic extremists years ago have been restored. UNESCO’s director general and Mali’s cultural minister inaugurated the reconstructed mausoleums on Saturday July 18, 2015. (AP Photo/Baba Ahmed, File)

    In this photo taken Saturday, July 18, 2015, people attending a ceremony stand near a mausoleum, right, that was restored in Timbuktu, Mali. The 14 mausoleums in Mali’s northern Timbuktu that had been destroyed by Islamic extremists years ago have been restored. UNESCO’s director general and Mali’s cultural minister inaugurated the reconstructed mausoleums on Saturday July 18, 2015. (AP Photo/Baba Ahmed, File)  (The Associated Press)

  • FILE - In this Friday April 4, 2014 file photo, Mohamed Maouloud Ould Mohamed, caretaker of the tombs at Timbuktu’s mausoleums, prays at a damaged tomb in Timbuktu, Mali. The 14 mausoleums in Mali’s northern Timbuktu that had been destroyed by Islamic extremists years ago have been restored. UNESCO’s director general and Mali’s cultural minister inaugurated the reconstructed mausoleums on Saturday July 18, 2015. (AP Photo/Baba Ahmed, File)

    FILE - In this Friday April 4, 2014 file photo, Mohamed Maouloud Ould Mohamed, caretaker of the tombs at Timbuktu’s mausoleums, prays at a damaged tomb in Timbuktu, Mali. The 14 mausoleums in Mali’s northern Timbuktu that had been destroyed by Islamic extremists years ago have been restored. UNESCO’s director general and Mali’s cultural minister inaugurated the reconstructed mausoleums on Saturday July 18, 2015. (AP Photo/Baba Ahmed, File)  (The Associated Press)

The director general of the U.N.'s cultural body and Mali's cultural minister have inaugurated 14 reconstructed mausoleums in Timbuktu that had been destroyed by Islamic extremists.

Islamic radicals who overran Timbuktu in 2012 destroyed the one-room structures that housed the tombs of the city's great thinkers.

The destroyed mausoleums were left as heaps of mud, reminders of the brutal rule of the jihadis, who imposed a harsh version of Islamic law on the fabled city before being driven out by a French military intervention.

UNESCO said Saturday the reconstruction of the mausoleums took more than a year and cost $500,000. The project is part of several restorations in the desert city being carried out by UNESCO.

The entire city of Timbuktu is listed as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.