Inetrnational Centre of the Roerichs

06.03.2017

Anatoly Karpov about the Roerichs heritage and the non-governmental Museum named after Nicholas Roerich on "The Living Room of Alexey Lebedev" program on the air of Sport FM radio


  

Alexey Lebedev:

Well I hope that you will have a chance to discuss it with me or with my colleagues on the air of Sport FM. But now I’d like to shift from chess topic to your public activity. Except being a deputy of the State Duma, as I mentioned before, you manage to succeed in the other fields, in particular, I know that you support the Museum of Nicholas Roerich. Also, you are a member of the Board of Guardians at the Foundation of Sportsmen Social Security. Is the name correct?

Anatoly Karpov:

Yes. You know, if we talk about it in a proper way, then unfortunately...

Alexey Lebedev:

Yes, let’s talk about Roerich first. I know that the Museum is having hard times now.

Anatoly Karpov:

Unfortunately, I’m the last living person who used to meet and talk to Roerich as well as negotiate with about the displacement of the whole artistic heritage from India to Russia.

Alexey Lebedev:

It wasn’t easy, I guess...

Anatoly Karpov:

It wasn’t easy at all. Why did I meet Roerich? Actually, the first meeting took place after the successful meeting of Roerich with Gorbachev where this topic was discussed. At that time, Gorbachev was General Secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party and also president of the Soviet Union. He greatly approved the idea of returning the heritage back to Russia. After that, Roerich asked me for a meeting. I said: “Well, you had a meeting with Gorbachev, if he is supporting you, how could I be helpful?” And he replied: “Honestly, I don’t want to pass the heritage...

Alexey Lebedev:

To the government?

Anatoly Karpov:

“...everything to the government. I believe in non-governmental organizations. I want to create my own Roerich organization in Russia”, well, in the Soviet Union then. So... “And you are the head of the most well-known and financially successful non-governmental organizations - the Peace Foundation, and I would like you to act as both a guardian and a guarantor...

Alexey Lebedev:

As a guarantor - yes.

Anatoly Karpov:

of all these events and the whole program. Well, it’s not my own decision, we accepted it through the Board.

The Peace Foundation. Then the Conference sanctioned it but it was very important, because when the Soviet Union collapsed, the succession turned out to be so shaky and, in general, Yeltsin didn’t pay attention to Roerich. And to his Heritage. We struggled to preserve the collection, we - the Peace Foundation - covered expenses for security, maintenance, renovation of storage rooms where the collection was kept. But when reforms of Gaydar were approved, we lost the ruble budget of the fund, and I wrote a letter to Yeltsin mentioning that Roerich met with the President and received support, so, we were guarantors, and now I don’t have any possibility to support the Roerich Foundation. Therefore, I asked for help so the government could take care of the organization. I must say that Yeltsin signed the order which at least for some time provided building rental and security. Then “Master Bank” appeared in the face of its owner, Mr. Bulochnik. In some way, he imbued with Roerich’s ideas, and the Doctrine, and collection… As Roerich Foundation we were handed over this complex of buildings that was in awful condition, and now it’s...

Alexey Lebedev:

It’s on Znamenka, isn’t it?

Anatoly Karpov:

Yes, on Znamenka. It’s incredible now.

Alexey Lebedev:

I’ve been there, I’ve seen pictures before and after the renovation. It’s a striking difference.

Anatoly Karpov:

Yes, yes. And the government didn’t invest anything. I mean there were ruins there - and now they are real palaces, real palaces, exposition is exciting. But for some reason Ministry of Culture in the face of Deputy Minister Aristarkhov attacks Roerich Foundation with a demand to hand over all the Heritage to the state. I mean they ignore the Roerich’s will. And, you know, it comes to ridiculous or foolish things, when it is questioned that Roerich wrote a will and medical documents are all there, that he was healthy, both physically and mentally... when he wrote a will, then he assured it from a notary in India, passing it to the non-governmental organization of the Soviet Union which was the Roerich Foundation then. So, we overcame the great resistance of relatives, then his wife who was still alive, she did not want to lose this Heritage from India. So, they transported all this to Russia, but now, therefore, the question of the will’s legacy is being investigated. Our party initiates this legal part, that the will is allegedly inferior because according to Indian law there must be three witnesses in the notary's office, but there were only two of them

Alexey Lebedev:

Oh well...

Anatoly Karpov:

Well, it's generally blasphemy, I do not know, blasphemy over a man, one of the greatest representatives of Russia, over his will, over his... Well, I do not know, in general, how this can be questioned. Besides, it is terribly dangerous for Russia, because if the will is disavowed... And then ...

Alexey Lebedev:

It all can just slip to India...

Anatoly Karpov:

Aristarkhov hopes that if he casts doubt on the will, the Heritage will come from the Fund to the state, but in fact ... there are no inheritors of the Roerichs on the Russian side, they are only in India, belonging to his wife’s line, so the heirs will say: Sorry if the will is disavowed ... "

Alexey Lebedev:

Invalid, yes...

Anatoly Karpov:

... then give it all back to India, why did you take it?" This is it, and I do not understand why authorities think so narrowly: that we now disavow Roerich's will and take it all to the state. And, after all, I do not understand: in private hands, or rather, owned by the non-governmental organization, it is all in perfect condition. I invite everyone to go and see the Roerich Museum on Znamenka - this is an absolutely amazing place and the exposition is wonderful. Why is it supposed to be given to unknown owners?

Alexey Lebedev:

I also do not understand this at all, but the topic is sad - I hope that everything will end here in fairness. By fairness, we mean that it belongs to society, and not to the state. Moreover, as you correctly say, there are serious risks, that it all can just be gone from Russia. Meanwhile, we have also mentioned the Fund for the Social Protection of Athletes.


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