In this edition Tim Ecott speaks to the journalist and broadcaster Jane Labous about the extraordinary mosques and libraries of Mali - now under threat from political unrest.
The West African country of Mali is perhaps best known for being the home of Timbuktu, sitting on the edge of the Sahara. But in recent months northern Mali and Timbuktu have been off limits to visitors because of rebel activity and armed revolts by the nomadic Tuareg, who want some form of self-governance.
In the last few weeks there have been reports that the ancient mud temples, mosques and libraries of Timbuktu have been vandalised by the Ansar Dine who may be connected to Al-Qaeda.
The cities of Timbuktu and Djenné are World Heritage Sites. There are fears that these mud buildings - some of them six hundred years old - could be permanently damaged.
Tim Ecott started the conversation by asking Jane Labous why these historical sites in Mali are so special.