Inetrnational Centre of the Roerichs

International Non-Governmental Organization | Special consultative status with UN ECOSOC
Associate member with UN DPI | Institutional member of International Council of Museums (ICOM)
Member of pan-European Federation for Cultural Heritage EUROPA NOSTRA | Associate member with INTO

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Since April 28, 2017, the Non-Governmental Museum Named after Nicholas Roerich went defunct with the illegal seizure of its building and territory.

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24.04.2014

“The Roerich Pact. History and Modernity” continues in the Peace Palace in The Hague




The exhibition is held literally under the Banner of Peace, the distinguishing mark of the Roerich Pact. The day before the Banner of Peace was solemnly presented to the director of the Carnegie Foundation Mr. Steven van Hogstraten. And now it is flapping above the Peace Palace along with the UN banner. Their juxtaposition clearly shows the international recognition of Nicholas Roerich's contribution to the effort of cultural heritage preservation.

The second day of the exhibition was quite eventful because of the papers read. The paper of Ms. Marga Koutsarova, head of the Bulgarian chapter of the ICR, was titled “The Roerich Pact. The past, present and future. Expert in the international law, she focused on the legal aspects of the document signed 79 years earlier and remaining relevant even today. This paper was followed by screening of the film “The Call of Cosmic Evolution” directed by Mrs. Shaposhnikova, Director General of the Museum Named After Roerich. Delivering the introductory speech, Mr. Stetsenko, Vice-President of the International Centre of the Roerichs spoke about the making of the film and the objectives that the film-making crew was trying to achieve.

The audience listened with rapt attention to the paper of Ursula de Goede on Nicholas Roerich as an artist. She mentioned that Roerich's heritage is so profound and multifaceted that it will give enough work to several generations of art historians.     

The paper by Jeroen Vervliet, Director of the Peace Palace Library on the relationship between Roerich and Martens deeply interested the audience. At The Hague Peace Conferences of 1899 and 1907 initiated by Russia several conventions introducing codification of the rules of warfare were discussed and adopted. These conventions raised the important question of the protection of cultural heritage in time of war. Mr. Fyodor Martens, a remarkable representative of the Petersburg school of international law, member of the Council of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Russian (from 1881 onwards), Vice-President of the European Institute of International Law (1885), member of the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague, Professor of the St.Petersburg University played active role in these conferences and in the formulation of the conventions. Martens was convinced that only the mutual respect of nation and the unity of their cultural ideals help them to develop.

In modern international law many points of the 1907 convention are considered valid, since according to Mr. Martens they were based on the “laws of humanity”.

Nicholas Roerich was one of the students of Mr. Martens and listened to his lectures when a student of the Law Faculty of the St. Petersburg University. Nicholas Roerich worked throughout his life on the problem of protection of cultural heritage and raised it to the qualitatively new level. The result of his efforts was the “Treaty on the Protection of Atristic and Scientific Institutions and Historical Monuments” or “The Roerich Pact”.





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