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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Dmitry Likhachev

It is unaccaptable that beaurocrats would speculate the Roerichs’ heritage

"Novaya Gazeta", January,11-17, 1996

(The article published in the collection ‘ Let’s Protect the Roerikchs’ Name and Heritage– М.: IRC (МЦР), 2001. – Т. 1. – С. 186 – 189.)


I heartily support the International Social and Scientific Conference resolutions that was organized in Moscow from October, 6 to October, 9, 1995 by the International Roerich Centre (IRC) and dedicated to the Roerich Pact 60th anniversary

A little more than a month passed since this highly representative and successful conference had finished its work ( it was attended by more than 600 participants from 100 cities of CIS and many other foreign countries) when the IRC was attacked again and diverted from its creative cultural work. It seems that the IRC wide cultural and educational, creative and public activity, that goes out of the bureaucratic control, sticks to the throat of certain forces.

In my Address to the President of Russia in 1993 I supported the International Roerich Centre – the UNO non-government organization – in their controversy with Russian Government that according to its resolution (№1121 от 4.11.1993 г.) wanted to take away the Lopukhins’ Estate from the IRC and set up there a State N.K. Roerich Museum that ran contrary with the will of Svyatoslav Nikolaevich Roerich who gifted the priceless Roerichs family heritage to the IRC to create a non-government Roerich Museum. No principle reaction to this appeal followed then.

After the IRC won the third hearing (1.03.1995 ) of the Russian Supreme Arbitrage that cancelled the Government Resolution points related to the Lopukhins’ Estate with a statement “the final decision, subject to no further appeal” , the Government contacted V.F.Yakovlev, the Supreme Arbitrage Chairman, forced him to call a meeting of Presidium (14.11.1995 г.) and, against any legal norms, accept the initial decision according to which the IRC claim was rejected.

Therefore it is the third year since the government has been trying to destroy the IRC as an important base of independent culture and a centre coordinating hundreds Roerich organizations in Russia and other countries. This contradicts not only the heritage granter’s will but the latest government resolution, that does not subject to annulment, as well as the Moscow Government resolution that signed a lease agreement with the IRC for the Lopukhins’ Estate in October 1995 for the term of 49 years .

It is unacceptable that vested interests of a few bureaucrats or their political ambitions caused speculating the cultural heritage of world importance. N.K. Roerich’s words that the main trial for the mankind will be the trial of culture perception really proved to be fatidic.

Now it is essential for our nation to obtain the highest spiritual values and ideals. There absence makes impossible the creative construction of the future. Only cultural shrines can be the source of life-giving forces and a new birth of common national identity.

To belong to the future does not mean to belong to any political party or support any economic system, is not limited to a post, social position or religion. The generally valid criteria of decline or flourishing must become the human conscience qualities, their perception degree of Knowledge and Beauty, the heart ability to love Culture, to protect its achievements and to work for its sake for the common good. It is impossible to discover the best, saving ways of life transformation without all this.

I strongly believe that priority must be given not to governmental but to free public cultural forms as they less depend on narrow bureaucratic and state department interests. Any state is doomed to decline if it does not care about preserving the highest spirit achievements of many generations and does not create conditions for the nation cultural education on the great examples of heroes and enthusiasts of science, art and religious ascetics.

N.K. Roerich Рерих was a cultural hermit of world importance. He raised the Banner of Peace, the Banner of Culture above the whole planet to show the ascendant path of perfection to the humankind.

I want to show again my solidarity with the International Roerichs Centre and its cultural initiatives. I hope that in St. Petersburg – the Roerichs’ native city, where there still exist many places connected with their name – the IRC St. Petersburg Department supported by cultural community and the city authorities will succeed in creating the Memorial Roerich Cultural Centre.

I would like to greet all the sincere advocates of culture that are uniting in its name under the Banner of Peace.