Inetrnational Centre of the Roerichs

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16.04.2015

The exhibition "Roerich Pact. History and Modernity" at the UN headquarters in New York

On April 15, 2015 at UN headquarters in New York, the ICR exhibition on the 80th anniversary of signing the Roerich Pact - treaty on the protection of artistic and scientific institutions and historical monuments - was inaugurated.

The Permanent Representative of the Russian Federation to the United Nations Vitaly I. Churkin

The Permanent Representative of the Russian Federation to the United Nations Vitaly I. Churkin addressed the audience at the opening ceremony. In his speech he noted that, opening the ICR exhibition "Roerich Pact. History and Modernity," we not only recognize the importance of the Roerich Pact as one of the most important international instruments of the XX century, but also pay tribute to and respect Nicholas Roerich:"He was able not only to put forward the idea of the necessity for the unconditional preservation of world cultural heritage, to elaborate guidelines of its protection, organize a powerful international movement in support of his ideas and principles, but also to reach recognition of the same by the international community and the signing of an international treaty." The representative of the Russian Federation to the UN stressed that the twentieth century was the most destructive in the history of mankind. Over a hundred years past 214 armed conflicts and wars, including two world wars took place on the planet. "Beginning of the XXI century, unfortunately, does not give us hope for the reduction of dangerous trend of increasing armed conflicts, - he said. XXI century is the century of unprecedented loss of the world's cultural heritage artifacts. In the fires of wars and armed conflicts, acts of terrorism and vandalism priceless cultural monuments created by previous generations are being destroyed – cultural heritage that makes up the spiritual and historical memory of human civilization. The scale of the damage, caused to cultural heritage in recent years during military confrontations and the course of social unrest and turmoil in the so-called peacetime is enormous. This is a common pain and tragedy for all humanity."

In the ICR exhibition "Roerich Pact. History and Modernity" are presented copies of archival documents and reproductions of paintings by Nicholas Roerich, telling the story of the creation of the Pact and its relevance in today's world. Also there are presented documents that tell the history of Nicholas Roerich Pact distinctive flag, known as the "Banner of Peace". In addition, it reflected the activities of the ICR, aimed at promoting the ideas of the Pact and the UN peacekeeping activities.

UN Under Secretary General for Communications and Public Information, head of the United Nations Department of Public Information, Christine Gall

UN Under Secretary General for Communications and Public Information, head of the United Nations Department of Public Information, Christine Gall addressed the audience on behalf of the UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and read out his welcoming speech, which emphasized the importance of the Roerich Pact for the present and for the future: "The Roerich Pact was signed exactly 80 years ago, but its ideas are still very relevant and are up to date." It also stressed the urgent need for effective action of the international community to protect the world's cultural heritage and preservation of the people who are present and future holders of this heritage. Christine Gall thanked ICR for inspiring, beautiful and enlightening exhibition, highlighted the role of education and awareness for the building of peace through culture.

Vice-President of the ICR Alexander Stetsenko

Vice-President of the ICR Alexander Stetsenko in his greeting address expressed appreciation to the UN Secretary General Mr. Ban Ki-moon for the high evaluation given in his speech in regard to the 80th anniversary of the Roerich Pact and the opening of the exhibition at the United Nations. He also thanked the UN Department of Public Information, Representative of the Russian Federation to the UN Vitaly Churkin for their assistance in the preparation of the opening ceremony of the exhibition.

Alexander Stetsenko on behalf of the ICR expressed gratitude also to the sponsors: George Piskov, manager of "Protobase Laboratories" and his wife Tatiana Piskova, the company "CapitalBE" and Russian airline "Transaero".

Alexander V. Stetsenko stressed that the priority for the ICR is to preserve and promote the heritage of the Roerichs and Nicholas Roerich’s peacekeeping ideas, embodied in its slogan "Peace through Culture", which is the basic idea of the Roerich Pact: "The preservation of peace on our planet today is one of the most important tasks of mankind. One might ask why Nicholas Roerich gave priority in the development of our civilization to culture?

The fact is that only in the space culture humanity gets the most important energy necessary for its progress in its evolution - the energy of Beauty, which ennobles and elevates our consciousness. That is why the great Russian writer Dostoevsky said that "Beauty will save the world."

But in order to fulfill the great mission of beauty, we have to save this beauty, embodied in the works of the great creators of mankind - in objects of cultural heritage. Therefore, Nicholas Roerich enriched the words of Dostoevsky, adding only "Comprehension of Beauty will save the world."

Realizing the great importance of cultural heritage, people will do everything possible to preserve them for future generations. This is one of the most important educational objectives of the Roerich Pact."

At the end of his speech Alexander Stetsenko solemnly handed as gift to UN the distinctive flag of the Roerich Pact - "Banner of Peace", made on the design of Nicholas Roerich. In accordance with the Roerich Pact this distinctive flag should be hoisted over all cultural objects for their protection: "Let this Banner be donated to the UN. Let it flutter and carry out its protective and peacekeeping mission."


Secretary-General's message to exhibit organized by the Russian Mission on the occasion of the 70th Anniversary of the Roerich Pact


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