Sadly, this is not the number one news story on front pages around the globe, although it fricking should be!
From link at Archaeology Magazine News
TIMBUKTU, MALI—German diplomats provided invaluable assistance with the rescue of more than 200,000 historic books and manuscripts from Timbuktu’s libraries before they could be destroyed by Islamist rebels. The most important documents were smuggled to safety in secure storage boxes, hidden with shipments of lettuce and fruit.
“Now we need to preserve them for posterity,” said Guido Westerwelle, Germany’s Foreign Minister. [Yes, we do.]
Germans helped to rescue ancient Islamic scripts
by: David Charter
From: The Times
March 05, 2013 1:51PM
AN audacious rescue of hundreds of thousands of ancient handwritten books and manuscripts from Islamist rebels in Mali was made possible by secret help from German diplomats, it emerged yesterday.
Abdel Kader Haidara, the Malian academic who oversaw the operation to smuggle the documents to safety before rebels torched Timbuktu's libraries, relied on the Germans for expert help and funding. Embassy staff paid for numerous private car trips to ferry the 4000 most important manuscripts dating back to the 9th Century to safety in Bamako, the capital, concealed under cargos of lettuce and fruit.