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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25.08.2017

Communication of the International Center of the Roerichs concerning the decision of the 9th Arbitration Court of Appeal (August 22nd, 2017)

On August 22, 2017, the 9th Arbitration Court of Appeal refused the appeal of the International Center of the Roerichs (ICR) against the unlawful decision of the Moscow Arbitration Court in the case № А40‑163033/2016 (on application by the State Museum of Oriental Arts to the International Center of the Roerichs on termination of rent-free agreements and eviction of the ICR from the buildings 4 and 7 of the Lopoukhins’ estate).

We have seen once again that today in Russia there is no justice capable of protecting the legitimate interests of a non-governmental organization. We have seen how officials, in our case, the leadership of the Ministry of Culture, seek to take away all property belonging to a non-governmental organization (we mean the Roerichs’ Heritage) and the cultural heritage site (the Lopoukhins’ Estate, restored by the ICR without government financial support).

Without having the full text of the decision of the 9th Arbitration Appeal Court on the complaint of the International Center of the Roerichs in hand, we cannot give a detailed assessment to it. However, proceeding from the process of the court session itself, we can conclude, that the ICR was once again denied the right to be protected: the request for a forensic examination regarding the real technical state of the Lopoukhins’ estate was rejected (the ICR is accused of having allegedly brought the estate to an unsatisfactory state). No long-standing cultural activity of the ICR has been taken into account as the Court has refused to recognize the ICR as a cultural organization. The Court has unsubstantially affirmed that the ICR has allegedly registered 17 commercial organizations in the Lopoukhins’ Manor-place. And much more. All this proves that the authorities has made the liquidation of the ICR their first priority.

The main reason for such decision is that the International Center of the Roerichs and its non-governmental museum named after N.K. Roerich have been successfully working throughout its 25-year history. It has been heeding the behest of its founder, S.N. Roerich, to preserve and popularize the heritage of our great compatriots. Its activity was awarded by state honours of the Presidents of the Russian Federation, numerous letters of thanks of the ministries and departments of Russia, as well as the letters of appreciation of the UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and the Director-General of UNESCO, Ms. Irina Bokova. But destructive policy pursued by the leadership of the Ministry of Culture of the Russian Federation and by V. Medinsky personally in relation to the ICR and its non-governmental

Museum made the authorities to change their attitude towards the ICR. As a result, the actions of the leadership of the State Museum of Oriental Arts go unpunished. On the night of April 28‑29th, 2017, the Lopoukhins' estate, all the Roerichs’ heritage belonging to the ICR and other property, including personal belongings of the staff, was seized by force. All this happened before the court decision on the ICR eviction from the Lopoukhins’ estate would enter into legal force. At the same time, the officials with the help of law enforcement agencies, supervisory and judicial bodies seek to destroy our non-governmental organization and justify the robbery on the part of the State Museum of Oriental Arts in relation to the ICR.

All this convincingly demonstrates the negative attitude of the authorities towards the Roerichs’ heritage and the Roerichs themselves. Investigating, preserving and popularizing the unique cultural heritage of our outstanding compatriots turned out to be unnecessary to the authorities. That is why everything is being done not only to destroy the International Center of the Roerichs and its non-governmental museum, but also to bury the very heritage of the Roerichs into oblivion. That is why a few days after the capture of the Lopoukhins’ manor, the employees of the State Museum of Oriental Arts tore off the Banner of Peace from the flagpole located in front of the non-governmental museum named after N.K. Roerich. The Banner of Peace is a distinctive flag of the Roerich Pact – the first international treaty for the protection of cultural property. It was the foundation of UNESCO's legal mechanisms to protect cultural heritage sites. The Banner of Peace was consecrated in Christian churches in 1931 and in 2013. The UN Secretaries General and the Director-General of UNESCO, heads of states and heads of parliaments gratefully received the Banner of Peace from the ICR. It has suddenly become undesirable in Russia.

Just like the Living Ethics, the scientific and philosophical Teaching, revealing the laws of the evolution of Man and the Cosmos, their unity and interrelation. It was the source of inspiration and creativity of the Roerichs. S.N. Roerich donated this great legacy to Russia provided that the non-governmental museum named after N.K. Roerich would be established on its base. Moreover, the museum should be located in the Lopoukhins’ estate. Today the heritage turned out to be unnecessary to the officials. That is why the state refuses to fulfill its obligations, given to S.N. Roerich, that is why there is a hunt for those who have been preserving and popularizing this heritage for more than a quarter of a century. This is the main objective of fighting the ICR.

The International Center of the Roerichs will continue to uphold the will of S.N. Roerich regarding the non-governmental museum named after N.K. Roerich, to assert its legal rights to the Roerichs’ heritage and the Lopoukhins’ estate, as well as the right to maintain its cultural activities within the framework of the legislation and its Charter.



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