Initial reports from Timbuktu suggested that tens of thousands of priceless documents had been destroyed when Islamist rebels burned down the city's Ahmed Baba Institute as they fled. It now appears that locals saved at least some of the documents.
Boubacar Sadek is believed to be the last remaining master calligrapher in Mali. He fled Timbuktu with rare documents. He now makes a living in the capital Bamako. Laura Lynch reports for the CBC and The World.