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Mali's Savama-DCI chosen as 2018 UNESCO Jikji Prize awardee

All Headlines 17:05 September 18, 2018

CHEONGJU, South Korea, Sept. 18 (Yonhap) -- Savama-DCI, a nongovernmental organization in Mali, has been selected as the winner of the 2018 UNESCO Jikji Memory of the World Prize in recognition of its efforts to preserve ancient Islamic manuscripts from attacks by al-Qaeda-related armed guerrillas, the prize's organizing committee here said Tuesday.

In 2004, three years after confirming Korea's "Jikji" as the world's oldest extant book printed with movable metal type, UNESCO decided to establish a prize in memory of its designation as a world documentary heritage.

The biennial UNESCO Jikji Memory of the World Prize is awarded to an individual or group who has made a contribution to preserving and promoting written heritage.

This photo, provided by Jikji Korea, shows the logo of Savama-DCI. (Yonhap)

"We've decided to select Savama-DCI as the 7th winner of the UNESCO Jikji Prize via screening of 14 UNESCO International Advisory Committee members," an organizing committee official said.

Savama-DCI has digitized some 600 documents from al-Wangari Manuscript Library in Mali for preservation under the circumstances of al-Qaeda-related armed groups damaging ancient relics and manuscripts in northern Mali, the official said.

An awarding ceremony will take place at an arts center in Cheongju, 137 km south of Seoul, on Oct. 1, he added.

Previous winners are the National Library of the Czech Republic (2005); Phonogrammarchiv of the Austrian Academy of Sciences (2007); the National Archives of Malaysia (2009); the National Archives of Australia (2011); ADABI of Mexico (2013); and the Iberarchivos Programme (2016), an institution that Latin American countries jointly established.

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