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

Roerichs' familyRoerichs' evolutionary actionsMuseum named after Nicholas RoerichPublishing activity
Scientific enlightment workProtection of the Roerichs' name and heritageICR: general information


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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APPEAL of the International non-governmental organization “The International Centre of the Roerichs”

To all who care for the Roerichs heritage,
its preservation for the future generations,
and for the non-governmental Museum named after Nicholas Roerich and its further work

The recent revocation of Master Bank’s (JSC) license has led to the most serious consequences for the International Centre of the Roerichs (ICR) and its non-governmental Museum named after Nicholas Roerich. The Museum, which enjoys world significance and has been created due to people's support, without any government funding, has lost the assistance of one of its founders, the eminent Meacenas of Russia - Boris I. Bulochnik. This is truly a severe blow to the entire Russian culture. More than 20 years B.I. Bulochnik has provided funding for the museum, scientific, educational and social activities of the ICR.

Under these circumstances there is a threat to all the future cultural and educational activities of the non-governmental Museum named after the great Russian artist Nicholas Roerich. We have been carrying out these activities in compliance with the concept of our founder, Svetoslav N. Roerich. This concept was published in the newspaper “Soviet Culture” dated 29 July, 1989.

The non-governmental Centre-Museum named after Nicholas Roerich was established in 1989 as the basic structure of the Soviet Fund of the Roerichs by Ordinance No. 950 dated 04 November 1989, issued by the USSR Council of Ministers in accordance with Dr. Svetoslav Roerich’s will. The basis of the Centre-Museum collection is the Nicholas and Helena Roerichs’ heritage handed over from India by their son Svetoslav and later on bequeathed by him to the International Centre of the Roerichs. In September 1991, after the collapse of the USSR, the Soviet Fund of the Roerichs was reorganized by the decision of Svetoslav Roerich into the International Centre of the Roerichs. To house the museum Svetoslav Roerich personally chose the ancient mansion of the Lopukhins out of a number of buildings proposed by the Moscow government. By the resolution No.2248 dated November 28, 1989, of the Mosgorispolkom (Moscow city council executive committee) and then by the Moscow government decree №812 dated October 3, 1995, the mansion was let on lease to the ICR.

Dr. Svetoslav Roerich nominated Ms. Lyudmila V. Shaposhnikova, an eminent scholar, writer and public figure, as the head of the non-governmental museum. She became his trustee and the executor of the will.

Unfortunately at the beginning of the 1990s the government did not fulfill its promise given to Svetoslav Roerich to render assistance in the establishment and development of the museum. Therefore without public donations and the financial support provided by the Maecenas Boris Bulochnik, the ICR could neither restore the historical and cultural monument of the XVII century “The Mansion of the Lopukhins” nor create a museum in it.

Due to public donations and Maecenas aid, during its twenty three years of existence the non-governmental museum became a major cultural and world-known centre fitted with the up-to-date museum equipment. The museum collection comprises over 3000 depository items including over 900 paintings and drawings by the Roerichs. The paintings handed over to the museum by Svetoslav Roerich are registered at the non-government division of the Museum Fund of the Russian Federation.

In the course of the entire period of its existence, the museum has been organizing on a regular basis traveling exhibitions of paintings by the Roerichs. Within these years, 500 exhibitions were held in 250 cities of Russia and abroad. More than 4 million people visited them.

The halls of the museum regularly host exhibitions of cosmists-artists, musical evenings, folk art festivals, children drawings contests.

The ICR carries out an intensive research work which includes organization of lectures, seminars, international scientific and public conferences that bring together hundreds of representatives from many countries.

Scientists from Russia and foreign countries can work in the reading hall of the Roerichs Archives which contains about 9,000 depository items.

The ICR carries out extensive publishing activity, including publication of archival materials from the Roerichs heritage, Roerichs works as well as books about the Roerichs life and oeuvre. More than 200 publications with a total edition of over 500,000 copies made the Roerichs heritage available for many people around the world.

The magazine “Culture and Time” published by the ICR was awarded with the ‘Media Gold Fund 2008’ decoration during the International professional exhibition ‘Media – 2008’

The ICR produces films dedicated to the creative work of the Roerichs. The film "Time to Gather Stones" (2005) dedicated to the 70th anniversary of the Roerich Pact and "The Call of the Cosmic Evolution" (2013) dedicated to the significance of the Roerichs heritage were accorded the status of "The National Film."

Recently the ICR jointly with the International Roerich Memorial Trust (Naggar, India) has started work on the creation of a modern memorial museum complex at the Roerichs estate in the Kullu valley (India) and the revival of the Urusvati Himalayan Research Institute founded there by the Roerichs in 1928.

The ICR maintains close contacts with a number of cultural and non-governmental organizations worldwide. The ICR is an associate member of the Department of Public Information of the United Nations, a member of the Pan-European Federation for Cultural Heritage Preservation “EUROPA NOSTRA”, an institutional member of the International Council of Museums (ICOM), an associate member of the International National Trusts Organization (INTO), and a trustee of the International Roerich Memorial Trust in Kullu (India).

One of the main directions of the ICR international activities is the international exhibition project «The Roerich Pact. History and Modernity» focused on the popularization of Nicholas Roerich’s peace-making ideas. The project is being carried out jointly with the International Roerichs Heritage Preservation Committee under the auspices of UNESCO and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation. The exhibitions were held in the UNESCO Headquarters in Paris, in a number of Latin America countries (Argentine, Uruguay, Chili), the United Nations Office at Geneva and in Germany. In 2014 the exhibition project is planned to continue in other countries of South and Central America, which are signatories to the Roerich Pact, in Europe, as well as in Asia.

The ICR and its non-governmental museum contribution to the preservation and popularization of the Roerichs heritage was highly commended both by government and public. By Decrees of the President of Russia, Ms. Lyudmila V. Shaposhnikova, Director General of the Museum named after Nicholas Roerich, was decorated with the National awards: “Order of Friendship” in 2006 for substantial contribution to the museum development and preservation of the cultural heritage, and “Order for services to the Motherland”, of the 4th Degree, in 2011 for substantial contribution to the preservation of cultural heritage, and for the longstanding educational and public activities.

In 2007 the staff of the International Centre of the Roerichs was honoured with the National award «The Cultural Heritage» for the restoration of the Lopoukhins Estate, and in 2010 it was awarded with the European Union Prize for Cultural Heritage given by the Pan-European Federation for Cultural Heritage - Europa Nostra.

The main financial support for this cultural activity was provided by our Maecenas Boris I. Bulochnik. However, our main concerns are not only because of the current situation connected with the cessation of financing, but also because of the resumed activities of the Ministry of Culture against the recognition and the implementation of Svetoslav Roerich’s last will. For more than 10 years the International Centre of the Roerichs was in litigation with the Ministry of Culture, which refused to recognize the ICR as the lawful heir of Svetoslav Roerich, in spite of his bequest. The reason was the unwillingness of the Ministry to fulfill Svetoslav Roerich’s will to hand over to the ICR the collection of 288 paintings by the Roerichs which is now in temporary custody of the Ministry of Culture. Even the personal appeal of Svetoslav Roerich to the Russian President Boris Yeltsin (p. 1, p. 2) did not help. Only when A.A. Avdeev became the head of the Ministry of Culture, the Ministry got closely acquainted with the situation and on the basis of legal constitutive documents recognized the ICR’s right of ownership of this collection. On the occasion of clarifying this issue, in April 2012 A.A. Avdeev, then minister of culture, sent to the Russian Government a reference document, containing legal and historical information and named «On the Svetoslav Roerich’s collection», which presented the real account of the affairs (p. 1, p. 2, p. 3, p. 4, p. 5).

The right of the International Centre of the Roerichs to inherit Svetoslav Roerich’s heritage based on his will was repeatedly recognized with the judgment of the Khamovnichesky Court (Moscow) in 2011 (p. 1, p. 2, p. 3), and afterwards affirmed by decisions of appellate (p. 1, p. 2, p. 3) and cassation instances (p. 1, p. 2, p. 3, p. 4, p. 5) of Moscow City Court. However, when V.P. Medinsky took his office in the Ministry of Culture, the Ministry resumed its activity aimed against the official recognition of the ICR as a legal successor of Svetoslav Roerich. Such reluctance to acknowledge our great compatriot’s will on the part of the Ministry of Culture for over 20 years seriously damages the image of the Russian Federation.

We are also concerned about the fact that during all these years the Moscow government is unwilling to comply with its previous decisions on leasing the Lopoukhins Estate, historical and cultural monument, to the ICR at the reduced rate of 1 ruble per square metre. This happens notwithstanding the fact that the Estate was restored without any financial support from the federal or municipal budget and despite the fact that the reduced rate of the lease is provided for in the "Regulation on the leasing of Moscow city cultural heritage objects in a poor condition" approved by Government of Moscow City Decree dated 24.01.2012, No.12 – PP.

There were repeated attempts to grab the Lopoukhins Estate and evict from there the International Centre of the Roerichs and its non-governmental Museum named after Nicholas Roerich (Ordinance of the Russian Federation Government No.1121 dated 04.11.1993 and the claim by Rosimuschestvo to the Arbitration court in 2007). We do not rule out that the unwillingness of the Moscow City Government to lease the Estate to the ICR at the reduced rate is due to this very circumstance.

In view of the above said the International Centre of the Roerichs addresses all those who care for the Roerichs heritage and its preservation for future generations with this appeal to support our requests to the government of Russia to recognize Svetoslav Roerich’s last will, to execute its promises given to him on preserving the activities of the non-governmental Museum named after Nicholas Roerich on the territory of the Lopukhins Estate and provide governmental support for its development.

The termination of funding from Meacenas B.I. Bulochnik will deprive the ICR of its ability to :

1. Continue works on reconstruction of the northern wing and the carriage house of the Lopukhins Estate .
2. Hold traveling exhibitions of paintings by the Roerichs in Russia and abroad.
3. Continue the international exhibition project "The Roerich Pact. History and Modernity" in Russia and abroad.
4. Hold commemorative exhibitions dedicated to the 140th anniversary of Nicholas Roerich, the 135th anniversary of Helena Roerich and the 110th anniversary of Svetoslav Roerich.
5. Hold international scientific annual conferences.
6. Continue publishing of materials on the oeuvre of the Roerichs from the ICR archive .
7. Continue publishing of the magazine "Culture and Time"
8. Continue producing films about the life and works of the Roerich family .
9. Participate in the revival of the of Himalayan Research Institute "Urusvati" at the International Roerich Memorial Trust (India) .
10. Continue the work of lecture-hall at the museum named after Nicholas Roerich.
11. Replenish the museum's collection with new paintings by Nicholas and Svetoslav Roerich.
12. Continue research activities in cooperation with Russian and foreign organizations.
13. Create the museum of history, archeology and restoration of the Lopukhins Estate .
14. Charitable Foundation named after Helena Roerich will not be able to offer scholarships to gifted children in the field of science and art.

The International Center of the Roerichs appeals to everyone, who is concerned about the fate of non-governmental museum and its future activities, to render assistance in raising funds for the continuation of above mentioned cultural projects within the framework of the ICR statutory activities.

The ICR ensures proper use of funds allocated for its statutory activities to finance the above mentioned projects; regular reports on incoming and expended funds, as well as providing each donator with the detailed account of expended donations.


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