Inetrnational Centre of the Roerichs

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1995 – “Let Us Protect Culture” International public and scientific conference
dedicated to Roerich’s Pact 60th anniversary (October 6–9)

International public and scientific conference dedicated to Roerich’s Pact 60th anniversary

International public and scientific conference dedicated to Roerich’s Pact 60th anniversary “Let Us Protect Culture from Destruction and Ignorance” took place in the Russian State Library from October 6 to 9, 1994.

The conference was organized by the International Center of the Roerichs supported by the Russian State Library, the International Association of World Foundations, the Central Council of the All-Russian Society for Protection of Monuments of History and Culture.

More than 600 representatives of Roerich societies from Russia, CIS, Baltic Republics, foreign guests from Germany, Bulgaria, Austria, Mexico, Canada, England, India took part in the conference.

The conference received congratulations from the United Nations Organization and a greeting from Academician D. Likhachev: “I consider this conference and Roerich’s Pact on cultural heritage preservation approved by President Roosevelt very important. I believe that we could remind of this remarkable document and create new ones on the basis of existing provisions on culture. Here is such document: “Declaration of Rights of Culture”, because not only man has rights in this world, but culture as well. It should be encouraged by the state, because any country, and any nation, and any state only exists for the sake of culture. If we say that everything is done for man, this does not yet say anything, because people are different. There are bad ones who do not deserve support. The difference is that some people continue traditions, maintain, try to restore from obscurity buildings under reconstruction, while others, on the contrary, destroy them in the process of wars, establishment of dictatorship regimes, interference in the affairs of culture, etc. We must protect culture from interference of incompetent persons, from smash-and-grab raids against culture, from ignorant state officers, and make culture the goal for which the mankind is living”.

Extracts from reports

L. Shaposhnikova
the N. Roerich Museum General Director,
the ICR First Vice-President

Roerich’s Pact and Evolutionary Significance of Culture

<…> What kind of phenomenon is culture? Often using this word, we do not always think of its philosophic essence. Roerich’s views, same as his whole creative work, were related to, or rather penetrated by philosophic ideas of the Agni Yoga Teaching, or the Living Ethics. This teaching energetic world outlook which started being formed in our crucial XX century not only in philosophy, but in natural sciences as well, contained new and fruitful approaches towards problems of evolution of the Universe, the Planet, and the man.

According to this world outlook, Culture as such is considered as one of the most important foundations of this evolution, without the energetics of which the evolution of mankind itself would not be possible. <…>

Through Beauty, we move from chaos to Cosmos, from disorder to regulation in any sphere of human activities. Both our so called salvation and our evolutionary advancement lie in this specific creative space: chaos – Cosmos. In its energetic essence, Beauty is the harmony of spirit expressed in various areas of human activities and surrounding us world, and, first of all, in art and nature. So it was not by chance that great Italian artist and thinker Leonardo da Vinci compared the labor of an artist, creator of man-made Beauty to the labor of the God-Creator. <…>

Having once appeared or been formed, Culture does not die, for it has in its basis the energetics of spirit. And even if its concrete carriers, its material forms disappear, it remains in its energetic space which is the source for further cultural development. The planet keeps on itself invisible fields of Culture so that they could be manifested in destined time. In due time, such fields energetics pours out manifested forms of seemingly forgotten Culture. Starting interaction with such fields, we again get filled with the energetics of that past which has not lost its viability and without which our future is impossible. <…>

Destruction of Culture and neglect of Culture in the XX century has turned into a process of planetary scale. Hardly any country has managed to avoid it. Russia has been the least lucky in this respect. The totalitarian regime which dominated in its space for more than seventy years destroyed and distorted the foundations of spiritual and material Culture. <…> Under conditions of a wild market and complete neglect of Culture on the part of the authorities, it is suffering such distress as never before in Russia. Culture is being devastated and dying in front of the eyes of those who created it, and those who are its carriers. I believe that neither we ourselves, nor the international community can let such situation continue. For ruin of Culture will result in elimination of man as such. Therefore, it is in our distress days, when a decisive battle between the Light and darkness has started, that the significance of Roerich’s Pact above which the Banner of Peace is streaming has grown hundreds times. The Pact calls to constant, consistent, and courageous protection of Culture. <…>

К. Molchanova,
Chairman of the N. Roerich Estonian Society

Banner of Peace in N. Roerich’s Creative Work and Personality

<…> The Banner of Peace conceals an inmost hieroglyph of the essence of the Universe. Its contents are comprehended and revealed gradually, in the course of N. Roerich’s creative heritage study. He himself did not limit this symbol interpretation, as it manifests a whole New Era Teaching of the forthcoming change of the world through a change of man. <…>

It is necessary to remember that the notion of culture is ambiguous, and until now has tended to elude precise definition. It becomes more and more obvious that both the economy and all our future earthly well-being depends on the internal culture of man, on his decency. Thus, an urgent need for independent culture development is entering our life. The broad public’s purpose must be not changing someone by someone else (violating each other), but moral improvement, education of oneself on one’s own initiative. Each one can only on one’s own develop one’s powers, both spiritual and physical, same as one can only breathe on one’s own. <…>

G. Kalzhanova ,
the Roerichs Society Chairman

N. Roerich’s “Stone Chronicles of Russia”

<…> To perceive the Living Ethics energies and find an earthly language for conveyance of all the cognized and received, one needed to pass through all that was passed by the Roerich family, to come to contact with all the world cultures, ancient and modern, with all philosophic and religious systems of the world. Most profound study of old Slavic and old Russian culture – from Paganism to Christianity, then an in-depth penetration into the foundations of Buddhist and Islam cultures, acquaintance with confessions of all countries and peoples. And when modern religion workers say that there was an artist who served the Russian Orthodox church, but betrayed his faith – they do not know what they are talking about. He could not betray anything, that wise and knowing man. He was endowed with a great gift of synthesis, and in his canvases and literary studies, Roerich brought to the mankind all the best accumulations of the Earth and Heaven. <…>

А. Balandin,
М. Tchiryatiev,
the ICR Saint-Petersburg Department Secretary,
Ramakrishna Society Leader
N. Belyak,
Artistic and Chief Director of
the Saint-Petersburg Interior Theatre
G. Lebedev,
Professor of Archeology, Doctor of History,
Director of the Saint-Petersburg Affiliate of the Institute for Cultural
and Natural Heritage of the RAS and the RF Ministry of Culture

Banner of Peace in Cosmos

Sixty years ago, on April 15, 1935, right after Roerich’s Pact was signed in the White House in Washington, in his appeal broadcasted by the main radio stations of the world, the USA President Roosevelt in particular said: “Opening this treaty for all the world nations to join, we present this urgent principle of the modern civilization preservation to the world recognition. This Treaty has in its basis much more spiritual significance than follows from the Treaty text itself. This is just one of the many expressions of the main doctrine of continental responsibility and solidarity, so important for the present and the future…” This is how the Banner of Peace movement started, which, overcoming time and space by its call to comprehension and protection of the highest values of Spirit, united all continents. On May 6, 1989, the Banner of Peace, having started off in Leningrad, was for the first time raised by F. Koniukhov at the North Pole of the Earth, and in February 1990, it was raised into Cosmos, on board the orbital station “Mir”.

<…> a new and unusual task was set forth – to give impetus to cosmic researches which, beside scientific and technical significance, were also to acquire urgently needed cultural and humanistic contents. Thus, program “Cosmos – Man – Culture” was gradually formed.

The program became one of the initiatives aimed at settlement of a global task involving elaboration of value criteria for the general planetary generic norm. Ecological, and political, and cultural situations on the Earth all testify to this necessity. Not by chance, the program was implemented under the Banner of Peace symbol – the sign of inspired call to people’s conscious recovery of the lost spiritual unity. The ground for such programs creation was prepared by creative work of scientists-cosmists: Lomonosov, Odoyevsky, Voloshin, Vernadsky, Tsiolkovsky, Tchizhevsky, Florensky, the Roerichs. It was time to transform the existing principles and programs of cosmic researches by developed in centuries ideas of the cultural evolution of man and his cosmic destination. Appearance of a new, common for the whole planet generic norm of humanity cannot take place purely notionally – it must be implemented into perceivable by many people direct experience and sensation of the planet unity. <…>