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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Exhibition «The Roerich Pact. History and Modernity» in Silistra, Bulgaria

On April 5, 2017 in Silistra, the ancient Bulgarian city on the bank of the Danube, there opened the exhibition «The Roerich Pact. History and Modernity » by the International Center of the Roerichs. The exhibition presented in the Art Gallery of Silistra (from April 2 to May 2, 2017) is held under the patronage of the Bulgarian National Commission for UNESCO.

The main co-organizers of the International Center of the Roerichs in holding this exhibition were the Ministry of Education and Science of Bulgaria and the secondary schools associated with UNESCO in Silistra – the Gymnasium with teaching languages named after Peyo Yavorov and the St. Kliment Ohridski Nature and Mathematics Gymnasium. This is understandably enough as the younger generation, and above all the students of secondary schools associated with UNESCO, should get acquainted with the importance of protecting culture and cultural values and with the main idea of the Roerich Pact – the idea of achieving Peace through Culture.

The other co-organizers of the exhibition in Silistra were the International Committee for the preservation of the Roerichs’ Heritage (Moscow), the Indology Foundation «East-West»(Sofia), the National Roerich Society in Bulgaria.

The opening of the exhibition was attended by the representative of the Regional Governor of the region Silistra and the representative of the mayor of Silistra, who handed in the letters of congratulations to head of the Branch of the International Center of the Roerichs in Bulgaria M. Kutsarova on the occasion of the opening of the exhibition «The Roerich Pact. History and Modernity ». Among official guests there was the head of the Regional Education Inspectorate, Ms. Gabriela Mitkova.

The guest of honor at the opening ceremony was Ms. Marina Sergunina, the attaché at the General Consulate of the Russian Federation in the city of Rousse (Bulgaria).

While opening the exhibition, the director of the Art Gallery, Mr. Jordan Kolev, noted that Nicholas Roerich was one of the greatest artists of the present and the contact with his art always elevates, opens new horizons. The exhibition «The Roerich Pact. History and Modernity » introduces us to the achievements of Roerich as an outstanding public and cultural figure on a world scale, who has done a great deal for the international protection of cultural values.

At the opening of the exhibition the director of the St. Kliment Ohridski Nature and Mathematics Gymnasium, Ms. Anelia Nevskaya stressed in her speech that she felt happy and proud of the fact that the best gymnasiums of the city, which are part of the network of Associated Schools of UNESCO in Bulgaria, joined their efforts so that the city of Silistra could host the exhibition «The Roerich Pact. History and Modernity ». She also thanked her colleagues from the both gymnasiums – Mr. Nedelcho Zheynov, Ms. Reneta Lazarova, Ms. Kalina Sato-Zheynova, who worked on the exhibition and coordinated the activities related to the initiatives of UNESCO in Bulgaria.

Mr. Jordan Kolev Ms. Anelia Nevskaya

Mr. Nedelcho Zheynov, the deputy director of the Gymnasium named after Peyo Yavorov, addressing the audience, first of all expressed joy to the fact that the exhibition «The Roerich Pact. History and Modernity» was opened in Silistra. The opening coincided with the 85th anniversary of the Second International Conference in Bruges, which was of great importance for the promotion of the ideas of the Pact throughout the world. He stressed that Nicholas Roerich was a unique creator: the artist, the scientist, the traveler, the thinker and the public figure. His aspiration and the scope of his creative activity were astounding. He drew attention to the important educational significance of the exhibition, which contributes to the solution of several goals. First, it promotes a deeper awareness of the value of the cultural heritage of the Silistra region, and the need for its preservation, respect, and restoration. Secondly, the exhibition helps us to understand, by studying the history and essence of the Roerich Pact, how to protect Culture. Thirdly, it is able to inspire students to creativity.

Ms. Marga Kutsarova, the head of the branch of the International Center of the Roerichs in Bulgaria, spoke about the international exhibition project of the ICR, which began in 2012 at the UNESCO headquarters in Paris and has already been held in 17 countries in Europe, Asia, Latin and North America, including The UN headquarters in New York, the Peace Palace in The Hague, the UN offices in Geneva and Vienna. The first exhibition in Bulgaria took place in Sofia University St. Kliment Ohridski in May 2015. M. Kutsarova told about the significance of the Peace Pact and, in particular, its significance for the future. She emphasized that the Roerich Pact initiated two important ideas: the priority of Culture in the life of an individual and in the life of society, and about the World through Culture. The idea of the leading role of Culture was particularly close to outstanding cultural figures, artists, writers, scholars of Bulgaria from the era of the National Renaissance. That is why Roerich's ideas found such a deep response in the country. In 1930, the Bulgarian Association named after Roerich was created, in 1934 – the Bulgarian Committee for the Roerich Pact, and in the late 1970s Bulgaria initiated projects within UNESCO that were aimed at protecting cultural values, people of creativity and, in particular, children, in accordance with the highest level of protection provided for in the Roerich Pact. In addition, in 1978 Bulgaria, with the close cooperation and participation of S. Roerich, conducted the program "Nicholas Roerich", and in 1979 the country organized the first International Children's Assembly "Banner of Peace" under the patronage of the Director-General of UNESCO.

Mr. Nedelcho Zheynov Ms. Marga Kutsarova

The opening of the exhibition "The Roerich Pact. History and Modernity "ended with a poem written by Nicholas Roerich" Sacred Signs ", read by Vladislav Kostov, a student of the 12th grade of the St. Kliment Ohridski Nature and Mathematics Gymnasium.

This poem paved the bridge to a cultural program prepared by both UNESCO Associated Gymnasiums on the occasion of the opening of the exhibition "The Roerich Pact. History and Modernity ". It was presented the same evening at the Art Gallery under the motto "Creativity and Art for the Achievement of Beauty and Peace." The verses of N. Roerich – "Sacred Signs", "We Shall See", "At the Last Gates", as well as works for piano and classical guitar, flamboyant songs and dances poured through the stage. In the framework of M.Kutsarova's program, a lecture was given devoted to N.K. Roerich and his concept of Culture.

Silistra is one of the most ancient cities in Europe. The first settlements on the territory of the region of Silistra are referred to the Thracian era. Thracian kingdoms were conquered later by the Roman Empire, which founded the ancient city of Durostorum (the first name of the city of Silistra) in 106 AD. The emperor-philosopher Marcus Aurelius declared in 169 AD. that Durostorum is a self-governing Roman city – a municipality.

The opening of the exhibition "The Roerich Pact. History and Modernity "was a significant event for the entire cultural community of Silistra. Its goal is to pay special attention to the need for careful preservation and study of monuments of history and culture, with which the city of Silistra and its region are rich.

During the exhibition "The Roerich Pact. History and Modernity ", both Gymnasiums plan to hold an exhibition of children's art in the Art Gallery – student drawings accompanied by poems, essays, thoughts inspired by Roerich's paintings, ideas and deed.

The visits of the exhibition "The Roerich Pact. History and Modernity "by the schoolchildren are also planned and organized as well as holding lessons in its halls devoted to the cultural and historical heritage of the region.

Photo: Teodor Stoychev, Jenner Shoukry, Tony Pavlov

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