Inetrnational Centre of the Roerichs

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29.12.2017

Statement of the Board of the International Centre of the Roerichs on the inauguration of the exhibition of the Roerichs’ paintings by SMOA at the Lopoukhin’s estate on 19 December 2017

On 19 December 2017 the Ministry of Culture of the Russian Federation has launched a broad PR campaign in the federal media considering the inauguration of the exhibition of the Roerichs’ paintings by SMOA at the Lopoukhin’s estate. The base of the exhibition consists of paintings from the heritage transferred to ICR by Svetoslav Roerich, which was illegally seized by the Ministry of Culture. Such kind of “noise” in the media seems to be an attempt to conceal the indignation of Russian and international community standing against violation of the Roerichs’ will as well as against efforts of the Ministry of Culture to establish a State Roerich Museum as an affiliated branch of SMOA at the Lopoukhin’s estate.

According to the will of the last member of the great Roerichs family Svetoslav Roerich and, thus, pursuant to The USSR Council of Ministers Resolution № 950 dated 4 November 1989 as well as to Decision of the Moscow City Executive Committee № 2248 dated 28 November 1989 the non-governmental Centre-Museum named after Nicholas Roerich was supposed to be based in the Lopoukhins’ estate. Only after this condition was fulfilled by the USSR government, Svetoslav Roerich transferred to Russia the second part of his parents’ heritage. Under the leadership of Lyudmila Shaposhnikova (1926–2015), an outstanding scientist and public figure, the most significant researcher and promoter of the Roerichs’ heritage, ICR fulfilled the will of its founder Svetoslav Roerich and, according to his idea (it was presented in the article written by Svetoslav Roerich “We cannot linger!” published in the newspaper “Sovetskaya Kultura” dated 29 July 1989) established the non-governmental Museum named after Nicholas Roerich of the International Centre of the Roerichs at the Lopoukhins’ estate.

Its perfect display and activity carried out for more than 25 years was appreciated by the Director General of UNESCO Irina Bokova, the Ministers of Culture of the Russian Federation Madame Dementieva, Mr. Sokolov, Mr. Avdeev as well as by many others Russian and foreign outstanding cultural luminaries and public figures. Presidents of the Russian Federation highly appreciated contribution of ICR to preservation of Russian national patrimony (the Roerichs’ heritage and the Lopoukhins’ estate) and development of museology, awarding the Director General of the non-governmental Museum named after Nicholas Roerich, first Vice-President of ICR Lyudmila Shaposhnikova the Order of Friendship and the Order of Service to the Fatherland of IV degree.

On the night of 28 to 29 April 2017 the State Museum of Oriental Art supported by the Ministry of Culture conducted an armed seizure of the non-governmental Museum and all its funds. That is how the non-governmental Museum named after Nicholas Roerich of the International Centre of the Roerichs was destroyed and, thus, its activity was stopped. That is how the Ministry of Culture using illegal methods and under the pretext of the State interests is trying to establish a State Roerich Museum in the Lopoukhins’ estate, which is against the will of Svetoslav Roerich, who was the owner of the heritage transferred to Russia.

During the inauguration of the exhibition the deputy Minister of Culture Mr. Aristarkhov in his interview to the channel “Rossia-1” flagrantly misrepresented the facts, affirming that the establishment of the State Roerich Museum would be the fulfillment of Svetoslav Roerich’s will. In fact, in the article “We cannot linger!” (published in “Sovetskaya Kultura” newspaper dated 29 July 1989) Svetoslav Roerich was speaking namely about the non-governmental status of the Centre-Museum named after Nicholas Roerich. He also noted that “Subordination to the Ministry of Culture, and especially to the State Museum of Oriental Art, in my opinion, would lead to an unjustified and deliberate narrowing of the Centre’s challenges and potential”.

Aspiration of the Ministry of Culture to establish a State Roerich Museum is worth being supported, as almost 60 years ago it was promised to Yuri Roerich, who donated to the State more than 300 paintings for this purpose, that such museum would be created. Besides, many paintings by the Roerichs that are not exhibited can be found within storages of Russian museums. Thus, establishment of a State Roerich Museum carried out by the officials of the Ministry of Culture by means of a deliberate and illegal destruction of the successful non-governmental Museum is a source of deep indignation.

The inauguration of the exhibition of the Roerichs’ paintings by SMOA at the Lopoukhin’s estate showed to the whole world how the officials pretend to love the Roerichs and how they are destroying Russian culture. This so-called love consists in destruction of the largest educational Centre-Museum, created with the assistance of many people. The interiors and the exposition of the non-governmental Museum, which impressed people from all over the world for many years have turned into almost empty rooms painted grey. The destoyers of the Museum – high officials of the Ministry of Culture and SMOA, were walking through the grey dull halls, posing in front of cameras, telling lies and calumny about the Roerichs and ICR.

The President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Poutine in his speeches has mentioned many times that one of the main needs of our citizens is justice. Last year, in his Address to the Federal Assembly he said that “any injustice and lie are taken very seriously and it is a particularity of our culture”. It is proved by hundreds of open letters and appeals from cultural luminaries and non-governmental organizations speaking out for ICR and preservation of the non-governmental Museum named after Nicholas Roerich.

Three years ago Basic Principles of State Policy of the Russian Federation in the Field of Culture were adopted. Its base includes governmental support and development of non-governmental initiatives in culture. Destruction of the non-governmental Museum of the International Centre of the Roerichs, which is, in fact, Russian national patrimony, proves that the Minister of Culture Mr. Medinsky and his crew completely ignore not only Decrees and Orders of the President of the Russian Federation in the field of culture but non-governmental initiatives in cultural building, which form the main impetus considering preservation of national culture, as well.

Today we can establish a fact that the Ministry of Culture of the Russian Federation carried out intentional and illegal liquidation of the non-governmental Museum named after Nicholas Roerich of the International Centre of the Roerichs aimed at illegal seizure of the Roerichs’ heritage and the rest of museum collections. We consider the disinformation about the Roerichs, transmitted during the exhibition by the Ministry of Culture and SMOA to the federal media, to be the start of the governmental campaign aimed to discredit the Name and the Heritage of the Roerichs in Russia.

Despite all these flagrant anti-cultural and destructive facts, the Board and the staff of ICR supported by the international community, will continue to strive for restitution of the violated will of Svetoslav Roerich as well as for fulfillment of governmental obligation considering resumption of activity of the non-governmental Museum named after Nicholas Roerich of the International Centre of the Roerichs on the basis of the heritage transferred to it, by all legal means.


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