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

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Statement of the International Centre of the Roerichs

On June 27, 2012 Russian magazine "The Bear" (“Medved”) posted on its website a video interview with Alena Adamkova held by the magazine's correspondent in India Alexey Mordvinov, entitled "India Takes Away the Family Estate of the Roerichs".

In this interview Adamkova seeks to discredit the activities of the International Centre of the Roerichs (ICR, Moscow, Russia) and the International Roerich Memorial Trust (IRMT, Kullu, India) in order to impede the constructive cooperation between these organizations in fulfilling the will of their founder, Svetoslav Roerich, and obstruct the creation of the Roerich Memorial House and the resumption of the activities of the Urusvati Institute of Himalayan Studies in the Nicholas Roerich estate in the Kullu Valley (India). Moreover, this interview shows Adamkova’s highly disrespectful attitude both to Russia, where she received her second citizenship, and India, the hospitality of which she has been enjoying for many years.

Adamkova’s claim that the ICR, with the support of the Indian officials from Shimla, intends to implement a raider seizure of the Roerich heritage in order to export it to Russia is an explicit slander, which is fueling tensions between India and Russia regarding the participation of Russian representatives in the activities of the IRMT.

The ICR shall not give any assessment of Adamkova's statements about her activity at the IRMT. We hope that this will be done by the Administration of the Trust, as Adamkova was working as a staff member of the Trust for as long as ten years. However, the ICR has the right to evaluate the activities of Adamkova as the former representative of the Centre at the IRMT – the fact that she is trying to cast doubt on in this interview. However, both the decision of the Directorate of the ICR, her own reports and receipts of payment of her travels from New Delhi to Moscow and back, and many other documents prove that she was voluntarily committed to represent the interests of the ICR at the IRMT, with her task being "the establishment of bilateral relations between the International public organization "International Centre of the Roerichs" and the International Roerich Memorial Trust, aimed at fulfilling the will of Svetoslav Roerich," which consisted in creating a Memorial House-Museum of the Roerichs and resuming the activities of the Urusvati Institute of Himalayan Studies.

Soon after Adamkova began her work at the IRMT, she was appointed executive director of the museum and curator of the IRMT, and thus concentrated in her hands a considerable administrative power over the Nicholas Roerich estate. It should be noted that this appointment took place without any consultation with the Directorate of the ICR. Now, ten years after she started working at the IRMT, it is time to sum up her activities.

The ICR, with its more than twenty years’ experience in the creation and maintenance of the N.K. Roerich Public Museum in Moscow, declares with full responsibility that the Memorial House-Museum of the Roerichs has not unfortunately yet been established in Naggar. Several rooms where the paintings by Nicholas Roerich are displayed are not sufficient to call this house a museum. The establishment of any museum implies serious organizational and professional museum activity which has not been carried out.

Currently a team of museum specialists from the ICR is working in the Nicholas Roerich estate in Kullu, on the basis of a cooperation agreement between the ICR and IRMT and at the invitation of the IRMT. The team is dealing with the inventory verification and accounting, as well as evaluating the condition of the Roerichs’ heritage and the state of its preservation and systematization. It is this team that Adamkova called ‘raiders’ in her interview given on the eve of the arrival of the ICR specialists at the IRMT, thus attempting to create a hostile attitude towards them among the local residents and employees of the IRMT and prevent the revelation of the actual condition of the heritage. It is necessary to add that Adamkova is trying to do her best to hamper the work of our staff and to extend their stay in the IRMT on any pretext. She is giving the lists of the heritage inventory to the team in parts, preparing them urgently right on the spot. And then she suddenly leaves for ten days, thus stopping the work with the heritage in the Roerich house altogether until her return.

It's too early to speak about the final results of the work of our team, but some conclusions can already be drawn. First of all, we have not revealed any general museum ledger with systematic numbered inventory of the museum objects, which is normally the basic document of any museum and the foundation for all subsequent museum work. This indicates the absence of any consideration at all. The accounting done by means of electronic media cannot replace a regular main inventory ledger. The absence of this book suggests Adamkova’s unwillingness to maintain such record keeping and create a ledger that could be verified anytime.

We would also like to note the extremely poor condition of the heritage preserved in the estate. Many of the memorabilia of the Roerichs have deteriorated, since Adamkova did not consider their value as museum objects and organize their accounting. The same applies to many archival documents, library and research collections of the Urusvati Institute of Himalayan Studies, much of which has come into disrepair due to improper storage.

Adamkova’s claim that the Urusvati Institute of Himalayan Studies "was restored in 2003, that is, a year after I came here," may refer only to the repair of the two historic buildings of the Institute, but not to the resumption of its activities. Adamkova understands it perfectly well, but doesn't give an appropriate explanation, thus deliberately trying to mislead the audience about the work of the Institute.

Of course, the creation of the Memorial House-Museum and the resumption of the activities of the Urusvati Institute are complex tasks that can certainly not be managed by one person. But Adamkova didn't even state such tasks. She, as a representative of the ICR, was only to organize interaction between the ICR and the IRMT with the aim to accomplish these tasks. As it turned out later, she had never even tried to do that. The Directorate of the ICR has repeatedly offered her assistance from our staff; we were ready to send our specialists to India for the organization of work in this direction at any time. But Adamkova constantly refused any help, alleging a ban of the IRMT Directorate. Now it becomes clear why she was so persistently refusing our help. Adamkova used her position in the IRMT not to engage the ICR in the work on the creation of the museum and the resumption of the Institute activities, but to isolate our organization from her work and to approve her power in the Trust.

In April 2010 experts of the ICR visited the Nicholas Roerich estate in Kullu, having revealed all the adversity with the heritage. In June 2010 the Directorate of the ICR heard the account of Adamkova on this issue. Many critical comments, suggestions, and recommendations were in order to correct deficiencies in the work. But Adamkova does not intend to change her approach to the work in the IRMT. On January 22, 2011 the newspaper "Pravda" (Bratislava) published an interview with her, in which Adamkova presented a glowing picture of the situation with the heritage of the Roerichs in Kullu. The ICR was forced to prepare its own report to tell the truth about the disastrous state of affairs with the heritage and refute other false statements made by Adamkova. After that, she accused the ICR of the organization of raider attacks on the Roerichs' heritage.

We should also add that Adamkova’s claim that Svetoslav Roerich blessed her to work at the Nicholas Roerich estate is quite irresponsible. To make such a statement when Svetoslav cannot either confirm or deny it is at least unethical. Covering up her actions with the name of an illustrious person and at the same time doing everything to prevent the execution of this person’s will is the lowest blasphemy.

It is time to give an honest assessment of Adamkova’s activities at the IRMT, and it would be unreasonable to assert her immense contribution to the preservation of the Roerich heritage in Kullu. The facts clearly indicate the opposite. In June we are celebrating the 20th anniversary of the founding of the IRMT by Svetoslav Roerich, and we are still far from the creation of the Nicholas Roerich Memorial House in the estate and the resumption of the Urusvati Institute activities. However, it is the decisions taken at the meeting of the IRMT Executive Committee on March 6, 2012 that give us hope that our organizations will be able to fulfill the will of Svetoslav Roerich by joint efforts.