Inetrnational Centre of the Roerichs

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The Banner of Peace became famous on the planet as the symbol of protection of Culture.

N. Roerich attached a special meaning to the notion of Culture. “Cult will always remain reverence for the Good Element, and the word Ur reminds us of an old Oriental root meaning Light, Fire”17. “Culture is reverence for Light. Culture is love for man”18. “Culture is conscious cognition, spiritual subtlety and persuasiveness. <…> it is unshakable in its essence, and lives, first of all, in the human heart”19. “Culture is accumulation of the highest Grace of God, highest Beauty, highest Knowledge”20. Culture “is a deepest foundation of life tied with the highest silver threads with the Hierarchy of Evolution”21.

N. Roerich by his painting ”Glory to Hero”. 1933 or later
N. Roerich by his painting
”Glory to Hero”. 1933 or later
The Painter separated the notions of Culture and civilization. “<…> the very Latin root Cult has a very profound spiritual meaning, while civilization has in its root civil, public structure of life”22. Civilizations appear and perish, while Culture “is immortal as a true spiritual value”23. Culture must not be submitted to civilization, for Culture is the basis for evolution of mankind. Destruction of Culture is destruction of foundations for further evolution of mankind.

“Awareness of Beauty will save the world”24, N. Roerich repeated Dostoyevsky’s words with a little amendment. Existence of Culture without Beauty is impossible. “Beauty, carrying in itself the harmony of energetics, turns chaos into Cosmos at all levels, starting from the worlds of different states of matter, and finishing with the spirit of man, whom it endows with the ability to create the most important thing in his life – Culture <…>, L. Shaposhnokova writes. – Culture as such does not exist without creative work <…> Creative work makes the earthly man akin to the God-Creator and thus shows him the evolutionary way in the starry spaces of Cosmos” 25.

“Creative work is pure prayer of spirit. Art is the heart of people. Knowledge is the brain of people. Only through the heart and wisdom can the mankind get united and understand each other”26, N. Roerich wrote. “Let us remember the behest of Light that, first of all, spirit and creative work will be the most important thing for us, then comes the health, and wealth is only on the third place”27.

And more: “Judgment, belittlement, pollution, despondency, corruption, all emanations of ignorance do not behoove to Culture. Its great tree is nourished with unlimited cognition, educated labor, tireless creative work, and noble deed”28.

N. Roerich. Madonna - Protector. 1933
N. Roerich. Madonna - Protector. 1933
Nicholas Roerich was convinced that only through Culture peace can come to the planet. Fighting for peace, for Culture “is the most powerful eradication of war”29. “Rising tirelessly in all places the Banner of Peace, we eliminate the physical field for war”30.

It is possible to create laws, sign agreements, but it is people who implement them in life. “One should get disarmed in the heart and in the spirit. <…> the human heart must agree with disarmament and collaboration”31, the artist asserted. The Banner of Peace, introducing the sacred notions of Beauty and Culture into the life of each family, each man, each child, will contribute to the expansion of people’s mentality, directing them to Love and Light.

The Banner of Peace sign – the sign of Trinity – is the most ancient symbol of humanity. It passed through thousands of years. Its images can be found in pottery ornaments of distant periods of Neolith, on objects from treasuries of Pharaohs of Ancient Egypt, on the rocks of Mongolia. It was on the Crusaders’ shields and on Templars’ emblems, on images of Gesser-Khan and Rigden-Japo, in Tamga of Tamerlane. The horse of happiness on the Hymalayan mountain passes is carrying the same sign glowing in flames. It is on Buddhist banners, and on the emblem of Samarqand. It is on the ancient icon of St. Nicholas, on the ancient image of Reverend Sergey, on Holy Trinity images.

The Banner of Peace symbol – three little circles in a big one – has never signified belonging to a specific nation or religion. “Where all human treasures must be protected, Nicholas Roerich wrote, – there should be such an image that would open the crypts of all human hearts”32.

There are different interpretations of this sign. “Some people say, N. Roerich wrote, that this is the past, present, and future, united with a circle of eternity. For others more close is explanation that it is religion, knowledge, and art in the circle of culture. Probably, there were all kinds of explanations for many similar images in the old times as well, but, no matter how diverse those interpretations be, the sign as such got established all over the world”33.

One of photographs with the Banner of Peace in Cosmos
Cosmonauts А. Balandin and G. Strekalov with
the Banner of Peace on board the orbital piloted
complex “Mir” (“Peace/World”). August 1990
The Banner of Peace movement overcomes time and space. In 1990, cosmonauts Balandin and Soloviev raised the Banner of Peace in Space.

“Above all Russias, there is one unforgettable Russia. Above any love, there is one universal human love. Above all beauties, there is one beauty leading to cognition of Cosmos”34, Nicholas Roerich wrote.

Jubilee medals “Nicholas Roerich. 125 years”, “Helena Roerich. 120 years”, “Yury Roerich. 100 years”, “Svetoslav Roerich. 95 years”, established by the ICR
Jubilee medals “Nicholas Roerich. 125 years”,
“Helena Roerich. 120 years”,
“Yury Roerich. 100 years”,
“Svetoslav Roerich. 95 years”,
established by the ICR
From February to August 1990, the Banner of Peace was on board the orbital piloted complex “Mir” and was taken out into the open Space where it stayed 9 days and performed 144 turns around the Earth.

The Copy of the Banner which stayed in the open Space and the ICR jubilee medals: “Nicholas Roerich”, “Helena Roerich”, “Svetoslav Roerich”, with which the cosmonauts were awarded, are exhibited in the hall show-case.

In 1997, implementation of the International scientific and educational project “Banner of Peace” started. Its main purpose is calling to collaboration under the Banner of Peace, the Banner of Culture, in the name of preservation of life and beauty on our planet.

Delivered on board the orbital complex “Mir”, the Banner of Peace stayed in Cosmos for a year, many International teams worked with it. The “Mir” station and the spacecraft “Space Shuttle” on the gleaming orbit of the Earth in the center of the hall are marked with little flags with the Banner of Peace sign.

“We have raised the Banner of Peace above the planet so that the space of Culture for ever supersede the space of war and hostility, cosmonaut Pavel Vinogradov said. – We call to construction of new, spiritual, scientific, and artistic collaboration of all people and peoples of the Earth”35.

After the project completion, the cosmonauts transferred the Banner for eternal custody to the Nicholas Roerich International Center-Museum. The Banner of Peace and the certificate confirming the Banner transfer are exhibited in the hall.

V. Chukov (Russia), V. Drabo (Belarus), and worker of the American Pole Station “Amundsen-Scott” with the Banner of Peace on the South Pole. January 8, 2000.
V. Chukov (Russia), V. Drabo (Belarus),
and worker of the American Pole Station “Amundsen-Scott”
with the Banner of Peace on the South Pole. January 8, 2000.
The Banner of Peace in Cosmos became the symbol of the global responsibility of everyone for the fate of the mankind and the planet.

With the Banner of Peace, Russian mountaineers have conquered the high peaks of the planet. Their outstanding achievements are fixed on the photographs: The Banner of Peace on the tops of Altai (Beloukha, the Roerich peak, the Urusvati peak, the Svetoslav Roerich peak), in Middle Asia (Khan Tengri), and on the highest peak of the Himalayas (Everest).

Thanks to the Russian sportsmen and travelers, the Banner of Peace was unfolded on the North and South poles. For the first time, it was raised on the North Pole in 1988 by Fedor Konyukhov. In 2000, participants of the first International Complex Antarctic expedition “Towards the 21st Century” raised the Banner of Peace on the South Pole of the planet. The Banners that have been to the North and South Poles, are kept in the hall.

The ICR Conference dedicated to the Pact 60th anniversary (photograph)
International Scientific and Public Conference
dedicated to the 60th anniversary of Roerich’s Pact.
Russian State Library. Moscow. October 1995.
In October of 1995, an International Conference dedicated to the 60th anniversary of Roerich’s Pact and the Banner of Peace was held in Moscow. In the same year, the Banner of Peace was handed to the State Parliament (Duma). The Banner of Peace, among other banners of countries and organizations is raised in front of the UN building in New York. The Banner of Peace is streaming above many cultural and educational institutions all over the world. Those cities where the Banner of Peace was raised are shown on the rotating globe with white flags bearing the Banner of Peace sign.

On October 7 – 9, 2005, an International scientific and public conference “The 70th Anniversary of Roerich’s Pact” took place in the N. Roerich Center-Museum. Many prominent political and public figures, scientists, artists, cosmonauts, workers of Culture – representatives of Russia and other countries – took part in the conference work. All unanimously talked about inadmissibility of the state’s barbarian attitude towards culture, emphasized the urgency of Roerich’s Pact in our world.

“<…> now it is difficult, very difficult in the planet’s big home, N. Roerich wrote. The human spirit got confused, confused in doing mutual harm. And even the powers of nature themselves seem to be indignant. Earthquakes, eruptions, floods, shifts of climates – everything introduces even more confusion to the already confused spirit of man. But the history has already known such periods, and the mankind already knows the panacea in these calamities. And this panacea is Culture. Where the hand and the brain get exhausted, the heart is unconquerable, and the heart is the Power of Light, is the hub of Culture”36.

Conference “The 70th Anniversary of Roerich’s Pact” (Photograph)

Culture, as synthesis of art, science, and religion, is one of the most essential meanings of the Banner of Peace. Nicholas Roerich himself, possessing the gift of synthesis, carried in himself religion, science, and art in integral unity. Through the Master’s creative work, we are comprehending the ideas of the Living Ethics, penetrating into a wonderful world of cosmic sensations and emotional experiences, the world of real Beauty and new evolutionary possibilities. And not by chance it so happened that it was N. Roerich who was called to raising above the planet the Banner of Peace, the Banner of Culture.

Appreciating the International significance of the Roerichs’ creative work and outstanding achievements, the Commission of the International Astronomic Union granted to small planet 4426 the name of “ROERICH”.

Certificate of granting to small planet 4426 the name of “ROERICH”, the small planet reference and the scheme of its orbit as of October 9, 1999, are exhibited in the hall exposition.

Photograph of the Banner of Peace in front of the ICR
Banner of Peace above the International Center of the Roerichs
H. Roerich, seeing the forthcoming future, wrote: “Events will help the movement of Culture to develop as the last refuge! Don’t let anyone think that this movement is not new, it will be the threshold of the New World. <…> So, let us assert Culture and its Banner – the Banner of Peace”37.

“Let the Banner stream above the centers of Light, above shrines and strongholds of the beautiful, N. Roerich appealed. – Let it stream above all deserts, above lonely secret abodes of Beauty, so that the deserts burst into blossom from this sacred grain.

The Banner is up. And it will not go down in the spirit or in the heart. The Banner of Culture will blossom with the light fire of the heart. So mote it be!”38

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