As President Hollande flew out of Timbuktu he will have seen the challenge beneath him. Our Africa Correspondent Rohit Kachroo says the community is one of the most isolated anywhere in the world.
Throughout ten months of Islamist rule, the people of Timbuktu risked their lives to preserve the artefacts of their ancient heritage.
Francois Hollande is due to visit Timbuktu during his visit to the West African country this weekend. He will be welcomed by many.
Downing Street have been explaining what offers the UK have made to the military effort in Mali.