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Of the International scientific and public conference “Lyudmila V. Shaposhnikova: scientist, thinker, public figure. On the occasion of the 90th anniversary of the birth”

8-11 October 2016                                                                                       International Centre of the Roerichs, Moscow

From 8 to 11 October, 2016 the non-governmental Museum named after Nicholas Roerich of the International Centre of the Roerichs hosted the International scientific and public conference “Lyudmila V.Shaposhnikova: scientist, thinker, public figure. On the occasion of the 90th anniversary of the birth” under the auspices of Commission of the Russian Federation for UNESCO.

Conference organizer: International Centre of the Roerichs (ICR).

Coorganizers: Russian Academy of Natural Sciences, Russian Academy of Cosmonautics named after K.E. Tsiolkovsky, the Russian Philosophical Society,the Institute of History of Science and Technology named after S.I. Vavilov of the Russian Academy of Sciences, the International Association of Peace Foundations, Charitable Foundation named after Helena Roerich, the International Roerich’s Heritage Preservation Committee. The Conference was supported by the UN Information Centre in Moscow.

Information support: “Culture and Time” magazine, “Sodruzhestvo” newspaper, Radio CHIN Ottawa.

365 delegates of 87 non-governmental, 33 scientific and educational institutions from 18 countries: Austria, Azerbaijan, Armenia, Bulgaria, Germany, Kazakhstan, Colombia, Kyrgyzstan, Latvia, Lebanon, Lithuania, Mongolia, Republic of Belarus, Russia, Uzbekistan, Ukraine, Finland, Estonia participated in the conference “Lyudmila V.Shaposhnikova: scientist, thinker, public figure. On the occasion of the 90th anniversary of the birth”. Among conference participants there were: 1 Academician, 8 Doctors of Sciences, 33 Candidates of Sciences, 8 postgraduates and applicants for PhD.

The conference considerate issues relating to the artistic heritage of L.V.Shaposhnikova, her achievements in philosophy, history, culturology, many-sided selfless activity on preservation, research, popularization and protection of the Roerichs’ heritage.

Lyudmila V. Shaposhnikova (1926–2015) – is a famous Russian historian, Orientalist, Great philosopher, outstanding researcher of the Roerichs’ heritage, writer, traveler and public figure.

Her tremendous contribution to science and culture is honored by state awards: Order of Friendship for outstanding contribution to the development of museology and preservation of cultural heritage (2006) and Order “For Merits for the Motherland” IV degree (2011), as well as honorary awards and diplomas. L.V. Shaposhnikova is the Honored Art Worker of the Russian Federation, winner of Jawaharlal Nehru international award “For outstanding contribution to the strengthening of Indo-Soviet Friendship” (1967); National Award of the Russian Federation “Cultural Heritage” (2007); International award of the European Union on cultural heritage “Europa Nostra” in nomination “Dedicated service” for recreation of the Lopoukhins’ Estate (2010) and many other international awards. L.V. Shaposhnikova is the Academician of the Russian Academy of Sciences and Russian Academy of Cosmonautics named after K.E. Tsiolkovsky, Doctor Honoris Causa of the "St. Kliment Ohridski" University of Sofia, Doctor Honoris Causa of the Mongolian Academy of Sciences; Doctor Honoris Causa of the Kyrgyz−Russian Slavonic University.

Lyudmila Shaposhnikova is the founder and President of the Charitable Foundation named after Helena Roerich, editor in chief of the “Culture and Time” magazine, author of 35 books and more than 500 articles, dedicated to the Indian culture, scientific-philosophical and artistic heritage of the Roerichs and other prominent representatives of philosophy, science and culture.

Numerous works of L.V. Shaposhnikova: “Great adventure” in 3 volumes, “Thorny Path of Beauty”, “State of the Roerichs” in 2 volumes, “Earth art of Cosmic evolution”, “Cosmic evolution in the light of cultural heritage of the Roerichs”, “Metahistorical paintings of Nicholas Roerich” and many others, attract more attention of the researchers. They without exaggeration can be called the new milestones in learning about the human and surrounding world.

L.V. Shaposhnikova is one of the founders of the Russian Roerich studies, establisher of the new scientific school of cultural and historical research, associated with the study of the Roerichs’ heritage. Her fundamental scientific and philosophic studies dedicated to the comprehension of the philosophical system of the Living Ethics – philosophy of cosmic reality – greatly contributed to forming of a cosmic thinking, provided the foundations for development of a new branch of scientific research in Russia.

Artistic heritage of L.V. Shaposhnikova is of worldwide importance and needs popularization, profound and comprehensive research as well as qualified protection from ignorant approaches and interpretations.

L.V. Shaposhnikova is the initiator of creation and one of the founders of interdisciplinary project – United Scientific Center for Cosmic Thinking Problems (USC CT), established in the International Centre of the Roerichs for scientific development of provisions of the Living Ethics philosophical system and forming of the methodology of new system of cognition from the outlook of cosmic ideology.

Main achievement of L.V. Shaposhnikova is creation of the non-governmental Museum named after Nicholas Roerich in Moscow according to the conception of Svetoslav Roerich. Last 26 years of the life L.V. Shaposhnikova entirely devoted herself to its development, being the permanent Director General of the Museum named after Nicholas Roerich and First Vice-President of the International Centre of the Roerichs.

The largest non-governmental Museum in Russia - Museum named after Nicholas Roerich has been established under difficult conditions. Social and economic transformation of the late 1980s in the USSR gave rise to fundamental transformation in the country. Old totalitarian state system began its rapid collapse, freedom of word and thought determined the changes in society towards spiritual quest, new comprehension of the cultural values, upsurge of interest to the life and work of the Roerichs, their heritage, as well as spiritual savings and cultural traditions of the Orient.

Deep changes in the whole life of the country made the opportunities for Roerichs’ dreams of transferring the unique artistic heritage of the Roerichs and creation of the Museum named after Nicholas Roerich in Moscow on its basis to come true. Negotiations between Svetoslav Roerich, Indian citizen, with the leadership of the country resulted in receiving the government support to these plans. Transfer of the Roerichs’ heritage, one of the pearls of the world culture, to Russia offered remarkable possibilities for sustainable evolutionary development of all spheres of human activity.

Main conditions of Svetoslav Roerich as donator and owner of the Roerichs’ heritage were as follows: The Museum must have the non-governmental, not the governmental status; must not be subordinated to the Ministry of Culture and State Museum of Oriental Art; must be managed by the non-governmental organization (Svetoslav Roerich. “No time to delay!”– “Soviet culture”. 29.07.1989) and be located at the Lopoukhins’ Estate in Moscow– architectural monument of XVII‑XIX centuries, personally chosen by Svetoslav Roerich from the proposed buildings by the government (Svetoslav Roerich. “Soviet Culture”. 23.11.1989).

While understanding the world significance of the Roerichs’ heritage, the leadership of country accepted the terms of Svetoslav Roerich and recognized its obligations in the decree of the USSR Council of Ministers № 950 from 04.11.1989“. On creation of the Soviet Roerichs’ Foundation and Center-Museum named after Nicholas Roerich”. The Lopoukhins’ Estate was allocated for placement of the non-governmental Center-Museum by the decision of the Moscow Soviet of People’s Deputies (Mossovet) Executive Committee № 2248 dated 28.11.1989.

To realize his will Svetoslav Roerich recommended L.V. Shaposhnikova, the famous scientist-Indologist, philosopher, writer, traveler, enlightener, researcher, friend and associate of Svetoslav Roerich. Having made sure that promises of the USSR leadership were fulfilled, Svetoslav Roerich invited L.V. Shaposhnikova to Bangalore (India) for preparing the heritage of his parents to be transferred to Moscow. On March 19, 1990 Svetoslav Roerich signed the testamentary arrangement under which the Roerichs’ heritage was transferred to the Soviet Roerichs’ Foundation (SRF). However the SRF was not the owner of this heritage as Svetoslav Roerich reserved the right of ownership for it. L.V. Shaposhnikova was appointed by Svetoslav Roerich as the implementer of the testament arrangement

In May 1990 despite the strongest resistance of separate officials L.V. Shaposhnikova delivered the Roerichs’ heritage to Russia from India: hundreds of paintings of the great Russian painter Nicholas Roerich, archive of the world significance with valuable manuscripts of the Living Ethics philosophical system, family library with rare editions and personal belongings of the Roerichs, ensuring the conditions for creation of the non-governmental Museum named after Nicholas Roerich in Moscow.

In September 1991, in consequence of collapse of the USSR and under the proposal of Svetoslav Roerich, the Soviet Roerichs’ Foundation was reorganized in the International Centre of the Roerichs. Svetoslav Roerich became its Honorary President who wrote in the letters to the President of the Russian Federation Boris Yeltsin and Mayor of Moscow Yuri Luzhkov definitely expressed his will on transferring of heritage of his parents to the ICR. Shortly before his death on October 22,1992 Svetoslav Roerich by a separate document confirmed the ICR rights on the heritage transferred to the SRF having had confirmed his disposal though the notary office in Bangalore (India). According to the law of India this disposal of Svetoslav Roerich is a document of transferring ownership rights on the Roerichs’ heritage to the ICR.

In complicated social and economic conditions of 1990s the state refused of its obligations to restore the dilapidated Lopoukhins’ Estate for allocation of the non-governmental Museum named after Nicholas Roerich. Despite this L.V. Shaposhnikova managed to unite the Russian and international public, and the destroying historical and cultural monument was renovated without any money from the state due to public donations, assistance of patrons and volunteers.

The first opening of the Museum named after Nicholas Roerich was on February 12, 1993 and after restoration of the main building of the Lopoukhins’ Estate on October 9, 1997 the permanent exposition created by the International Centre of The Roerichs under the guidance of L.V. Shaposhnikova in accordance with the conception of Svetoslav Roerich was opened in its halls. The history of formation of the non-governmental Museum named after Nicholas Roerich affirmed the idea of Nicholas Roerich on the fact that “culture can never be the only case of the Government. Culture is the expression of all the people, more truly – all nations. Therefore, the public social cooperation in the sphere of culture is always necessary”.

Creation of the non-governmental Museum by L.V. Shaposhnikova without financial aid of the state became the unprecedented phenomenon in modern history of Russia and provided impetus for development of the international public, cultural and educational Roerichs movement. In cooperation with the numerous non-governmental organizations the International Centre of the Roerichs and its Museum have now proved the viability and fruitfulness of the non-governmental form of culture, its important role in confirmation of Peace through Culture.

Thanks to the selfless activity of L.V. Shaposhnikova the International Centre of the Roerichs for 25 years has become the leading world-center on preservation, study and popularization of the Roerichs’ heritage. Cultural activity of the ICR and its Museum includes: holding of exhibitions of the Roerichs’ paintings comprising travelling exhibitions (more than 500 exhibitions took place in Russia and abroad from 1992, which were visited by over 4 million people); popularization of the Roerich Pact ideas, publication of the unique materials from the Roerich archive and books about life and work of the Roerichs (more than 250 books with 500 000 numbers of copies); organization of annual international scientific conferences and seminars, dedicated to the understanding of ideas of the Roerichs’ heritage as well as children’s programs; classical music concerts, festivals of national cultures, production of films about the Roerichs. All this many-sided cultural, educational and scientific activity was headed by L.V. Shapshinikova and realized under her guidance.

L.V. Shaposhnikova not only encouraged preservation and protection of the Roerichs’ heritage but also greatly contributed to its augmentation. Due to her initiative with the support of the patrons hundreds of priceless paintings of Nicholas and Svetoslav Roerich came back to Russia from abroad. As of today, the artistic collection of the non-govenrmental Museum named after Nicholas Roerich is the largest in the world.

Thanks to the organizational talent of L.V. Shaposhnikova the International Centre of the Roerichs became the leading organization in the world which has been promotion since 1990 the peacekeeping ideas of the Roerich Pact – the first international treaty on preservation of the world cultural heritage.

According to the initiative of L.V.Shapishnikova the International Centre of the Roerichs has implemented the unique international exhibition project “The Roerich Pact. History and Modernity” since 2012. The first time it was presented in the UNESCO headquarters in Paris. The exhibition project is supported by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation and Rossotrudnichestvo. Exhibitions of the project took place in 17 countries of the world: France, Argentina, Switzerland, Uruguay, Germany, Russia, Chile, Kazakhstan, Netherlands, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, India, Belarus, Bulgaria, USA, Austria, Finland including: the UN office at Geneva and Vienna, Peace Palace in the Hague, UN headquarters in New York. The Secretary General of the United Nations Ban Ki-moon made a special appeal to mark the opening of the exhibition in the building of the UN General Assembly in New York and noted that “exhibition pays tribute to the ground-breaking Roerich Pact and bears witness to our determination to take its spirit forward. I wish to thank the International Centre of the Roerichs for organizing this inspiring display. I appeal to governments and people everywhere to come together to safeguard our common heritage and humanity”.

In Russia the exhibition was held in 118 cities of the Central Federal District, Ural, Siberia, Far East, Crimea and South of the country.

The Project has been the largest public initiative in preservation of the culture and peace for the last years in Russia and other countries. In general the exhibitions and events of the project were attended by over 500 thousand people and at least 30 million people have known about it through mass media and Internet.

The UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova appreciated the international peacekeeping ICR project, particularly she noted “Noting that your initiative is all the more remarkable by its direct contribution to UNESCO’s mandate to build peace in the minds of men and women, I am pleased to welcome worldwide projects, such as yours, which reinforce the promotion of a culture of peace and its attainment through education and culture”.

On May 10, 2015 Ms. Irina Bokova visited the Museum named after Nicholas Roerich to meet L.V. Shaposhnikova as a mark of respect to her work on preservation of culture and peace, and in October 2015 under the auspices of UNESCO the non-governmental Museum named after Nicholas Roerich of the ICR held the international conference “80 years of the Roerich Pact”.

In 2016 The International Centre of the Roerichs has been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize for its peacekeeping activity on preservation of the cultural heritage in keeping with the Roerich Pact ideas.

At the same time the recent leadership of the Ministry of Culture of the Russian Federation represented by the Minister V.R. Medinsky, his deputy V.V. Aristarkhov follows the policy aimed at destroying the International Centre of the Roerichs and its non-governmental Museum named after Nicholas Roerich – the main brainchild of Lyudmila Shaposhnikova.

In November 2015 the Ministry of Culture of the Russian Federation achieved transferring of structures 4, 5, and 7 of the Lopoukhins’ Estate where the ICR and its Museum are located, to the operational administration by the State Museum of Oriental Art (SMOA). Soon the SMOA brought claims before arbitration court for eviction of the ICR from the Lopoukhins’ Estate.

On February 16, 2016 the Ministry of Culture organized the board meeting where the decision on creation of the state museum of the Roerichs in the Lopoukhins’ Estate based on the rights of SMOA branch, was taken. These actions are intended to destroy the successfully acting non-governmental Museum named after Nicholas Roerich of the ICR by eviction it from the Lopoukhins’ Estate and exemption of the Roerichs heritage owned by it. All this violates not only the will of Svetoslav Roerich who strongly believed that the non-governmental Museum established by him must not be subordinated to the Ministry of Culture and State Museum of Oriental Art, but also the obligations of the State given to Svetoslav Roerich.

Besides, by using the administrative resource the Ministry of Culture discredits the ICR activity and its leadership, enhances the economical and informational blockade of the non-governmental organization, and initiates numerous unscheduled audits: of the procurator’s office, tax authorities, State Labor Inspection, Ministry of Internal affairs, Assaying Chamber, Rostekhnadzor , Moscow City Heritage (Mosgornasledie), Federal Agency for the Administration of Federal Property (Rosimuschestvo) and other monitoring inspections. From April to September 2016 the ICR underwent 20 unscheduled audits!

Trying to imagine the ICR and its leadership as antagonists of authorities, on March, 29 the Ministry of Culture of the Russian Federation applied to the Ministry of Justice of the Russian Federation and requested to check the ICR for extremist activities (!). This fact indicates how far the leadership of Ministry of Culture comes, willing to recognize the ICR cultural activity as extremist to destroy it. However the results of the audit of the Ministry of Justice of the Russian Federation did not reveal any signs of extremism. I affirm that ICR activity is focused solely on the achievement statutory purposes in culture. But this conclusion did not grant the Ministry of Culture and it submitted a same request to the General Prosecutor’s office of the Russian Federation.

Recently the Ministry of Culture and State Museum of Oriental art have launched the broad based media information campaign against the International Centre of the Roerichs. In fact, today in Russia we have an unprecedented event when the Ministry represents the cultural activity of one of the largest non-governmental organizations of the country as the “enemy” of the state instead of supporting it.

The flagrant fact has been the withdrawal of distribution certificate of the movie “The Call of Cosmic evolution” (2013) of the ICR by the Ministry of Culture which author is Lyudmila Shaposhnikova. The movie premieres took place not only in Russia but in dozens of countries including the UN General Assembly. However it didn’t impede the leadership of Ministry of Culture from blaming the movie “The Call of Cosmic Evolution” for demonstration of Nazi symbols (fylfot). That is the way the Ministry interprets its fragment dedicated to the victory of people of Russia in Great Patriotic War reflected in the paintings of Nicholas Roerich. “The Call of Cosmic Evolution” is an antiwar movie that confirms the main idea of Nicholas Roerich’s oeuvre – “Peace through Culture”.

Such actions of the leadership of Ministry of Culture of the Russian Federation are a treat to the continuation of cultural, educational and peacekeeping activity of the International Centre of the Roerichs and its non-governmental Museum which represents the most successful example of developing the non-governmental form of culture in Russia. This experience should be widely disseminated and supported at the state level which is in line with principles and policies of the “Foundations of State Cultural Policy” approved by the Russian President V.V. Putin, as well as the UNESCO’s international instruments. It is impossible to enhance the cultural level of people and resolve many topical issues of modernity without assistance and active involvement of non-governmental forms of culture.

The Conference decides:

1. To perpetuate the memory of L.V.Shapishnikova taking into account her outstanding services in preservation, study, popularization, protection of the Roerichs’ heritage and approval of peacekeeping ideas of the Roerichs. For this purpose it is necessary to offer the ICR leadership the following:

– To establish the commemorative medal in honor of L.V. Shaposhnikova;

– To prepare and publish the collection of memories of L.V. Shaposhnikova;

– To bring a proposal to the Government of Moscow to establish the memorial plaque in Moscow on the building where L.V. Shaposhnikova lived;

– To create the scientific direction dedicated to the study of works of L.V. Shapshnikova in the United Center for Cosmic Thinking Problems;

– To organize holding of the annual scientific Readings dedicated to L.V. Shaposhnikova;

– To publish the complete collection of works of L.V. Shaposhnikova.

2. To continue holding of the photo exhibition of L.V. Shaposhnikova “Along the Path of the Master” in the regions of Russia.

3. To express gratitude to the team of the International Centre of the Roerichs for the long-term work aimed at popularization and preservation of the Roerichs’ heritage and protection of the non-governmental Museum named after Nicholas Roerich.

4. To elaborate the international exhibition project dedicated to the life and oeuvre of the Roerichs (in the sort of the exhibition “The Roerich Pact. History and Modernity”), using the funds of non-governmental organizations.

5. To offer the ICR leadership and non-governmental organizations of the Roerich movement to address the President of the Russian Federation and State Duma a proposal on elaboration and adoption of regulatory acts which regulate the activity of non-governmental museums of Russia in accordance with the international standards and best international practices.

6. To offer the ICR leadership to gather the group of highly professional lawyers including the international law for deciding questions on standing up for the fulfillment of will of Svetoslav Roerich, the Indian citizen, regarding the heritage transferred by him to Russia, as well as questions on preservation of the activity of non-governmental Museum named after Nicholas Roerich at the Lopoukhins’ Estate.

7. To recommend the ICR to organize jointly with the state and non-governmental organizations of Russia the workshops, round tables, forums, conferences, dedicated to the problems of developing the non-governmental forms of culture and its cooperation with the State.

To involve experts for cooperation to research the development conditions of non-governmental form of culture in the country: culture workers, museum workers, lawyers, human rights activists, culture experts etc.

8. To voice the strong protest over the activity of leadership of Ministry of Culture of the Russian Federation and State Museum of oriental art aimed at destruction of the non-governmental Museum named after Nicholas Roerich of the International centre of the Roerichs. Such an approach of the Ministry of Culture to interaction with a non-governmental organization violates the principles of civil society development proclaimed by the President of the Russian Federation V.V. Putin, his idea of patriotism brought up as the unifying factor in society as well as goals and objectives enshrined in “The Bases of state cultural politics”.

To address the President of the Russian Federation V.V. Putin with an Open letter on behalf of the conference participants requesting prevention of violation of will of the Roerichs, create necessary conditions for preservation of the non-governmental Museum and continuation of its cultural and educational, scientific and peacekeeping activity.

To request Mr. Alexey N. Petrov (Moscow) to transmit the Open letter to the Administration of the President of the Russian Federation.

9. To decide that the answer of the first deputy minister of culture V.V. Aristarkhov № 16401‑01‑63‑ВА dated 10.10.2016 on the ICR invitation to participate in the Round table of the conference is the example of an extreme form of disrespect towards Svetoslav Roerich’s will, disregard for Russian and international society, as well as confirmation of intentions of Ministry of Culture of the Russian Federation to destroy the non-governmental Museum and capture the Roerichs’ heritage owned by the ICR.

10. To offer the ICR leadership to initiate the proceedings in the Public Chamber of the Russian Federation on preservation of activity of the non-governmental Museum named after Nicholas Roerich at the Lopoukhins’ Estate in accordance with obligations of the state given to Svetoslav Roerich due to the destructive effects of the Ministry of Culture of the Russian Federation concerning the ICR and its non-governmental Museum. To invite the representatives of Administration of the President of the Russian Federation, Federation Council, State Duma of the Russian Federation, Government of the Russian Federation and non-governmental Roerich movement to participate in the proceedings.

11. To create the working group from conference organizers to realize this resolution.