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
FilmsNewsContacts

      рус  eng    
 
printer friendly

MINISTRY OF CULTURE AGAINST CULTURE

Brief chronology of the actions of the Ministry of Culture of the Russian Federation aimed at the seizure of the heritage
of the Roerichs and the destruction of the International Centre of the Roerichs

2013

November 11th, 2013
As the Minister of Culture Vladimir Medinsky failed to achieve the repeal by the Moscow City Court of the decision of the lower Court (Moscow Khamovniki regional court) which recognised the International Centre of the Roerichs (ICR) as Svetoslav Roerich’s heir, he wrote a letter to the President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin. In that letter Medinsky, by way of distorting the true facts and concealing the will of Svetoslav Roerich, presented the International Centre of the Roerichs as a certain non-governmental organization which had “for many years laid claims through judicial means to state property – i.e. to the paintings of Nicholas Roerich and Svetoslav Roerich at the State Museum of Oriental Art”. President Putin wrote the following resolution on the letter: “Take measures to ensure the interests of the State.” (Copy of the letter)

2014

June 20th, 2014
Owing to the resolution of the President of the Russian Federation, the Ministry of Culture managed to reverse the adopted three years earlier court's decision according to which the International Centre of the Roerichs had been recognized as the testamentary heir of Svetoslav Roerich.

2015

The Ministry of Culture initiated 5 unscheduled inspections by the Prosecutor's Office of the Moscow Khamovniky region against the International Centre of the Roerichs:

May 27th, 2015
There was carried out an inspection based upon a false statement about possible export from the Russian Federation of the Roerichs heritage. (No facts found to confirm the allegations)

August 17th, 2015
There was carried out an inspection as to whether the International Centre of the Roerichs had been withholding the Roerichs’ heritage “without sufficient legal grounds.” (No facts found to confirm the allegations)

September 30th, 2015
Inspection on "the legality of the possession of cultural values by the International Centre of the Roerichs" (No facts found to confirm the allegations)

October 29th, 2015
Inspection on " the legality of the possession of cultural values by the International Centre of the Roerichs" (No facts found to confirm the allegations)

November 20th, 2015
Inspection on " the legality of the possession of cultural values by the International Centre of the Roerichs" carried out with the participation of invited experts from the Ministry of Culture, experts were headed by the adviser to the Minister of Culture. (No facts found to confirm the allegations)

August 24th, 2015
Ms. Lyudmila Shaposhnikova passed away. She was the creator and the Director General of the non-governmental Nicholas Roerich Museum of the ICR, the attorney of Svetoslav Roerich and the executor of his Will.

September 10th, 2015
Minister of Culture Vladimir Medinsky sent a letter to the Mayor of Moscow Sergei Sobyanin with a request to transfer the Lopoukhin Mansion into the ownership of the Federal Government: “Taking into consideration the wishes of Svetoslav Roerich to place the unique creative heritage of his family in these buildings, the Ministry of is determined to restore the Mansion complex in its entirety and to place there works of art of Nicholas Roerich and Svetoslav Roerich from federal museums and private collections” (Copy of the letter)

October 20th, 2015
Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin signed an order of the Moscow City Government to transfer the buildings of the Lopoukhin Mansion into the property of the Federal Government. Federal state property is managed and administered by the Federal Agency for State Property Management (Rossimuschestvo). (Copy of the order)

November 11th, 2915
The Federal Agency for State Property Management (Rossimuschestvo) transferred the buildings of the Lopoukhin Mansion into the operational management of the State Museum of Oriental Art. This was done despite the fact that all the premises of the Lopoukhin Mansion had already been given by the Government of Moscow for rent-free use to the International Centre of the Roerichs. (Copy of the order)

2016

There were initiated 43 unscheduled inspections and 13 court trials against the International Centre of the Roerichs with the participation of the Ministry of Culture and the State Museum of Oriental Art

February 16th, 2016
The Board of the Ministry of Culture of the Russian Federation made the decision to establish at the Lopoukhin Mansion a state museum of the Roerichs as a branch of the State Museum of Oriental Art. (Copy of the decision)

From April to September, 2016
More than 20 unscheduled inspections of the International Centre of the Roerichs were carried out, all of them were initiated by way of letters of the First Deputy Minister of Culture V. Aristarkhov;
Apart from that, there were carried out 23 more checks by the the State Museum of Oriental Art as the operational manager of the Lopoukhin Mansion.

April 19th, 2016
There was carried out unscheduled inspection for detecting alleged illegal residing at the Lopoukhin Mansion of citizens of Ukraine. (No facts found to confirm the allegations).

May 30th, 2016
The State Museum of Oriental Art filed a lawsuit against the International Centre of the Roerichs demanding the eviction of the ICR from the household outbuilding of the Lopoukhin Mansion (building No.5).

May 10th, 2016
Inspection by the State Inspectorate for the Control over the Use of Real Estate Objects in Moscow on the use of a land held in rent by the International Centre of the Roerichs. (No violations detected).

June 1st – 29th, 2106
Unscheduled inspection by the Ministry of Justice of the Russian Federation with the objective to identify in the activities of the International Centre of the Roerichs signs of extremism and of a foreign agent. (No facts found to confirm the allegations)

July 5th – 11th, 2016
Inspection by the Federal Environmental, Industrial and Nuclear Supervision Service (Rosstechndazor) in connection with the letter of Deputy Minister of Culture V. Aristarkhov in which he wrote that there allegedly were explosive cylinders for fire fighting in the technical basement of building No. 4 of the Lopoukhin Mansion. (No facts found to confirm the allegations)

July 28th, 2016
The State Museum of Oriental Art filed a lawsuit demanding the eviction of the International Centre of the Roerichs from the Main House and the outbuilding of the Lopoukhin Mansion.

August 5th, 2016
Unscheduled inspection by the Department of Cultural Heritage of the City of Moscow. In contrast to the scheduled inspection conducted only six months before that, the unscheduled inspection found “unexpectedly” a lot of violations. (The previous scheduled inspection which was carried out by the same official personnel found no violations)

August 18th, 2016
The Ministry of Culture revoked the license issued by it to the International Centre of the Roerichs for the ICR film “The Call of Cosmic Evolution”. The revoke was under the pretext that in the film the Nazi swastika was demonstrated in newsreel footage depicting scenes of victory of the Soviet people over Nazi Germany. (The Supreme Court later declared the actions of the Ministry of Culture to be illegal).

September 21st, 2016
Unscheduled inspection by the Federal Agency for State Property Management. The inspection “detected” 17 legal entities illegally registered at the buildings of the Lopoukhin Mansion, these legal entities have not notified the International Centre of the Roerichs of their formal registration at the address of the Lopoukhin Mansion. The registration has been done by the authorities. (The ICR filed application to the law enforcement bodies with the request to bring to justice those officials and persons who have committed the illegal registration, however the application was left unanswered).

2017

March 7-8th, 2017
Under the pretext of investigative measures of the Central Investigation Department of the Ministry of Internal Affairs in Moscow, and with the support of armed riot police and with the use of special means of restraint, there were seized from the International Centre of the Roerichs 200 works of art by Nicholas and Svetoslav Roerich, as well as most valuable historical documents of the 1990-s.

April 7th, 2017
The Moscow Court satisfied the claim of the State Museum of Oriental Art for the eviction the International Centre of the Roerichs from the Lopoukhin Mansion. During the court proceedings, the non-governmental organization was deprived of the opportunity to defend itself: the court rejected the ICR request for an expert testimony in court as to the Lopoukhin Mansion’s technical condition; the court also did not take into account the facts which refuted the accusations against the International Centre of the Roerichs of violating the agreements for rent-free use of the premises of the Lopoukhin Mansion. The International Centre of the Roerichs expressed its disagreement with this court decision and submitted an appeal.

April 28-29th, 2017
During the night of 28 to 29 April, 2017 the State Museum of Oriental Art by way of a private security company carried out a forceful illegal seizure of the territory and the buildings of the Lopoukhin Mansion, of the entire heritage of the Roerichs, of the property and personal belongings of the employees of the International Centre of the Roerichs. (The decision of the court to evict the International Centre of the Roerichs from the Lopoukhin Mansion would enter into force only four months later).

April 28th, 2017
The Federal Agency for State Property Management unilaterally, without the required court decision, terminated the contract with the International Centre of the Roerichs on lease of the land plot at the Lopoukhin Mansion, without notifying the leaseholder, i.e. the International Centre of the Roerichs.

April 29th, 2017
In order to simulate some kind of ‘legality’ of the seizure of the Lopoukhin Mansion and of all the property of the International Centre of the Roerichs, the Central Investigation Department of the Ministry of Internal Affairs in Moscow gave to the State Museum of Oriental Art for ‘safekeeping’ the buildings of the Mansion, all the cultural values contained therein and all the property of the International Centre of the Roerichs. This was done without making any inventory whatsoever. (The activity of the non-governmental Nicholas Roerich Museum at the Lopoukhin Mansion was forcibly brought to an end).

September 8th, 2017
The State Museum of Oriental Art with the support of the Ministry of Culture filed a lawsuit against the International Centre of the Roerichs in which it claimed that the recreated by the ICR historic building in the courtyard of the Lopoukhin Mansion should be declared as an unauthorized structure. This building accommodated the scientific department of the ICR. (All the works on recreating this building were carried out on the basis of an agreed by the authorities project and obtained permits, and were delivered under the certificate of completion to the Moscow Department of Cultural Heritage).

September 21st, 2017
The State Museum of Oriental Art with the support of the Ministry of Culture filed a lawsuit demanding the demolition of an underground foundation built by the International Centre of the Roerichs at the Lopoukhin Mansion in full conformity with the planning target of the Moscow Government to recreate the historic buildings of the carriage premises and the part of the outbuilding of the Lopoukhin Mansion destroyed in the 1920s. (All construction works were performed by the ICR on the basis of numerous approvals and permits of the Moscow Department of Cultural Heritage and other authorized organizations).

2018

January 15th, 2018
The employees of the International Centre of the Roerichs were given access to the premises of the Lopoukhin Mansion for the first time since the seizure of the Mansion, i.e. only 9 months thereafter. They were allowed in with the purpose of removing the ICR’s property and their personal belongings. It was revealed that the entire exposition of the non-governmental Nicholas Roerich Museum was crushed and could not be restored. The museum equipment and display cases were broken, safes in the offices were cracked, most of the documents of the organization, as well as office equipment and personal belongings were missing. (More detailed...)

More than 16,000 museum items disappeared, including the collection of works of art of the Roerichs (almost 900 paintings and drawings) and 8810 items of the manuscript archive of the Roerichs, which represent a national treasure of Russia.

August 30rd, 2018
The State Museum of Oriental Art demanded the International Centre of the Roerichs to remove from the territory of the Lopoukhin Mansion the monuments dedicated to the Roerich family. The monuments were established in 1999 and in 2004 pursuant to the will of the Roerichs.(More detailed...)

August 30rd, 2018
The State Museum of Oriental Art demanded the International Centre of the Roerichs to remove from the territory of the Lopoukhin Mansion the Buddhist Stupa of the Three Jewels (the Stupa of Enlightment) which contains unique historical relics, namely those of the Buddhas, which are 2500 years of age. The Stupa was built and donated to the International Centre of the Roerichs in 2008 by the Buddhist community. (More detailed...)

October 26th, 2018
The Moscow Court accepted for consideration the claim of the Inspection of the Internal Revenue Service No. 4 of Moscow, for declaring the International Centre of the Roerichs insolvent debtor (bankrupt). That was done despite the fact that the value of the property of the ICR is many many times higher than the amount of its debt to the tax authority.

The court hearing is scheduled for January 24, 2019.