Inetrnational Centre of the Roerichs

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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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09.01.2020

The International Center of the Roerichs called upon the President of the United States not to violate the Roerich Pact by destroying cultural heritage

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On 5 January the President of the USA Donald Trump on his twitter warned Iranian government that the USA would respond to Iranian attacks against either Americans or American assets by targeting Iranian sites including those “important to Iran and the Iranian culture” and that they “will be hit very fast and very hard”. Threats made by the President of the USA raised extreme concern of the international community for the destiny of the Iranian cultural heritage. Donald Trump’s statement mentioned above shows that the U.S. Armed Forces can launch a strike against the Iranian cultural heritage sites.

In this regard, today (on 9 January 2020) the International Center of the Roerichs, a renowned Russian non-governmental organization, established by an outstanding artist and public figure of world renown Svetoslav Roerich, has sent a letter to the President of the USA Donald Trump reminding him that the USA is a signatory to the Treaty on the Protection of Artistic and Scientific Institutions and Historic Monuments (Roerich Pact). The letter contains a request not to violate the provisions of this treaty in force.

The letter sent by the International Center of the Roerichs says:

Namely humanistic values common for all nations form the basis for democracy. Cultural heritage is the highest humanistic value of the humanity. It is a genetic memory of spiritual culture of each nation. It encourages peace and progress…

We are calling upon you, Mr. President of the United States of America, and politicians of all other countries to realize your responsibility for the maintenance of peace and preservation of cultural heritage on the Earth for the sake of the present and future of mankind.

Full text of the letter

Mr. Donald Trump
President of the United States of America

Dear Mr. President!

The International Center of the Roerichs (Moscow, Russia) is addressing you in light of the alarming developments in the Middle East that followed the aggravation of tension between the United States and Iran. As we learned from the media, in the event of the escalation of the conflict the United States of America is going to hit 52 strategic targets on the Iranian territory, including significant cultural heritage sites of the country.

Dear Mr. President, we would like to draw your attention to the significant positive role of your predecessor Mr. Roosevelt before the World War II. In 1935 with his direct participation the USA and other countries signed the Treaty on the Protection of Artistic and Scientific Institutions and Historic Monuments (the Roerich Pact) the first treaty on the protection of world cultural heritage during armed conflicts and peacetime. Signing this Treaty, the USA assumed a responsibility to preserve the cultural heritage of mankind. This treaty, elaborated upon the initiative of an outstanding Russian artist and public figure Nicholas Roerich, became the basis for the international law on cultural heritage protection and was supported by renowned scientists and cultural figures, including Albert Einstein, Herbert Wells, Romain Rolland, Thomas Mann. At the time the US was among the first countries to protect world cultural heritage, which benefited the country itself and the humanity on the whole.

Taking into consideration the unstable and dangerous situation in the Middle East, we urge you, Mr. Trump as the President of a great democratic nation, to abstain from any actions that could lead to destruction of Iranian cultural heritage. Namely humanism common for all nations forms the basis for democracy. Cultural heritage is the highest humanistic value of the humanity. It is a genetic memory of spiritual culture of each nation. It maintains peace and progress.

Destruction of cultural heritage sites is the destruction of a cultural memory of a nation, which leaves open wounds in its history for the following centuries. Therefore, grains of hostility and hatred will be growing in the hearts of the future generations.

We are calling upon you, Mr. President of the United States of America, and politicians of all other countries to realize your responsibility for the maintenance of peace and preservation of cultural heritage on the Earth for the sake of the present and future of mankind.

Documentary The Roerich Pact. Peace Through Culture

Sincerely yours,

Vice-President
of the International Center of the Roerichs Alexander Stetsenko



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