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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11.08.2020

A new international exhibition project «The Roerich Pact. Peace through Culture» is starting in St. Petersburg

An official opening of an exhibition of a new international cultural and educational project of the International Centre of the Roerichs: “The Roerich Pact. Peace through Culture” will take place at the Architect House on August, 14th, 2020, St. Petersburg.

The exhibition organizers are: The International Centre of the Roerichs (the ICR), the St. Petersburg Branch of the ICR, The St. Petersburg Union of Architects, the International Roerichs’ Heritage Protection Committee, and The Charitable Foundation named after Helena Roerich, under support of the Consulate General of India in St. Petersburg, RF.

The Project is dedicated to the 85th anniversary of the signing of the Roerich Pact, the International Treaty “On Protection of Artistic and Scientific Institutions and Historic Monuments”, and to the 75th anniversary of the Soviet people Victory in the Great Patriotic War.

The Roerich Pact, initiated by Nicholas Roerich, the great Russian painter, scientist, humanist, writer and thinker, was signed in Washington on April, 15th, 1935, in the White House, by the USA and by representatives of 20 countries of the North and South America. A distinctive feature of this International Treaty is its focus on the protection of cultural objects not only in time of armed conflicts, but in time of peace as well. It protects not only cultural objects, but also the personnel. The Roerich Pact became the basis for the creation and activities of UNESCO, the adoption of 1954 Hague Convention for the Protection of Cultural Property in the Event of Armed Conflict and its two Protocols (1954 and 1999), as well as other UN and UNESCO documents aimed at preserving cultural heritage.

The international Treaty proposed by Nicholas Roerich is based on his deep conviction that without the preservation and development of culture in all its manifestations, without understanding and respect for its origins, the further evolution of humanity is impossible. He believed that by consistently expanding culture space, humanity narrows the space of wars and armed conflicts, since it eliminates the causes of their occurrence.

Nicholas Roerich's call for Peace through Culture expresses his most important idea that peace can only be achieved by knowledge and education, high morals and beauty, mutual respect and tolerance, goodwill and dialogue. From ancient times to the present day, it is Culture – as the centre of enlightenment, cordiality and mutual understanding – that has preserved peace in society and has been the basis of cooperation between peoples. “The world, the great World lives there,” said Nicholas Roerich, “where the true Culture dwells.”

The exhibition reminds us that it is Russia that is the first country in the world to initiate the convening and holding of the peaceful Hague conferences (1899 and 1907). They laid the legal basis for preventing armed conflicts through negotiations and minimizing the consequences of their occurrence. This gives every reason to consider Russia not only a country of great culture, but also a power that guards peace in the world.

The exposition of the exhibition is based on unique archival materials from the funds of the International Centre of the Roerichs. The exhibition will also feature reproductions of paintings by Nicholas Roerich, as well as modern photographs showing the destruction of cultural objects during armed conflicts over the past decades. The exhibition sections tell about the history of public initiatives to preserve culture and peace on the planet and about the destruction of priceless cultural heritage in the fire of world wars. At the end of XX and beginning of XXI century, we have witnessed significant losses of world monuments: the dramatic events in Afghanistan, Iraq, Yugoslavia, Libya, Egypt, Syria, where during the armed conflicts priceless ancient cultural heritage of the planet, the historical memory of mankind, was ruthlessly destroyed and looted. These events show how relevant the idea of Nicholas Roerich “Peace through Culture” is now on the planet. The exhibition project calls for joining the efforts of the world community in preserving and protecting the cultural heritage of mankind.

The official opening of the exhibition will be attended by representatives of state institutions and public organizations, the diplomatic corps of Consulates General in St. Petersburg, scientists and cultural figures.

The exhibition opening will take place on August, 14, 2020 at 10.30 am at the address: ul. Bolshaya Morskaya, 52, St. Petersburg.

The exhibition will be open to the public from 15 to 28 August, 2020, from 12.00 to 18.00 seven days a week.

Admission is free.

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