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"Scientists in South Africa are digitizing Africa's rich cultural heritage sites to provide a virtual tour to those who cannot visit in person, while benefiting preservation of the sites.
"Using the latest laser-scan and computer technology, they are creating 3D models and virtual landscapes of the sites in Sub-Saharan Africa, including a coral-stone fortress in Tanzania, an ancient mosque in Timbuktu, Mali, and Great Zimbabwe, Sunday Times reported.
"These digital models and historical resources will be stored in an African cultural heritage and landscapes database that African scholars, libraries and universities will be able to use free of charge......
"The team has already finished models for four World Heritage sites, including Kilwa Great Mosque, dated about 1200 AD, and Kilwa Kisiwani Fortress (1503) in Tanzania; St Giyorgis, a rock-hewn church at Lalibela (dating back to the 11th to 13th century) in Ethiopia; and the Grand Mosques of Djenne and Djingereiber in Timbuktu in Mali (14th and 20th centuries).
"UNESCO convened the 29 session of the World Heritage Committee July in Durban, South Africa, finding that 16 of 33 endangered World Heritage sites are in Africa due to conflicts, lack of fund and protection."