2017-03-10 The Morning News
Author: Maxim Gurkin
200 exhibits were transferred to the State Museum of Oriental Art with the participation of Special Police Force (OMON). What is the further destiny of the Roerich’s heritage?
On March 7 the fighters of the Special Police Force stormed the International Centre of the Roerichs (ICR). As a result, about 200 paintings were seized and transferred to the State Museum of Oriental Art (SMOA). Paintings were recognized as the physical evidence in the case of big fraud of Boris Bulochnik, owner of “Master-Bank.” The ICR representatives think that Ministry of Culture is behind the actions of law enforcement officials.
The lawsuit between ICR and SMOA has been already continuing for 20 years. The state museum does not leave in peace the non-governmental museum. More truly, it is referred to the Lopoukhins’ Estate, where the ICR is located. It was given to the non-governmental organization in return of free transfer of the Roerichs’ heritage from India.
The leadership of the SMOA believes that ICR illegally owns the buildings where it is located. It has been aspiring to create the state Roerich museum instead of non-governmental a long time ago.
Even though Svetoslav Roerich transferred the paintings exactly to the non-governmental organization, not to the state. Perhaps he understood that paintings would be possessed by private sectors. And true followers of Roerich would not allow it to happen.
«Seizure» of paintings became another stage in the museums’ lawsuit. Now instead of paintings there are ropes on the walls in the ICR. And museum workers do not know what to say to the visitors. Transferred paintings by the armed seizure are allegedly kept in the sealed room at the SMOA. They will be here for the time being as soon part of them can simply disappear. For a long time nobody cares about the national values in our country. Only personal gain that can be taken from them is of particular interest.
There was found a formal reason to attack the ICR once again. Boris Bulochnik, owner of “Master-Bank” considered to be the second reliable bank in Russia, bought and donated the Roerich paintings to the ICR. However in 2013 its license was revoked as this bank could not settle with creditors.
Only money and nothing personal
It turned out that Bulochnik bought paintings on illegally earned money. He created a huge amount of fictitious private individuals and legal entities through which he laundered money. The total damage is 61milliard rubles. Now the paintings of national heritage can be sold to cover the actual damage.
Boris Bulochnik provided assistance to the museum since 1990 to 2010. The ICR leadership did not almost communicate with him and certainly did not know what funds were used for purchase of paintings which suddenly became the physical evidence.
Ministry of Culture headed by Vladimir Medinsky supports the State Museum of Oriental Art. That is no surprising. How the non-governmental organization is beyond the control of the Ministry of Culture? As well as paintings which have the material significance besides artistic.
Only money and nothing personal. That is the way the position of Vladimir Medinsky can be characterized. He honestly does not care about national heritage and public opinion. Only activists are concerned about each museum exhibit. But the state still lives the way described by the writer and historian Nicholas Karamzin almost 200 years ago. In a word, what happens in Russia – everyone steals.
In general, what to expect of the man who is not relevant to the culture anyway. Besides his job position, of course. And he considers his position as a possibility to do what Karamzin had wrote about.
In April this year the conclusion report for dissertation of Vladimir Medinsky will be published. His scientific work of 1999 contained 14 pages fully copied from Vladimir Kruglyakov’s dissertation. Whole scientific society thinks Medinsky is a plagiarist. But most likely nobody will manage to deprive him of the degree. At least until he heads the Ministry of Culture.
However the deprivation of academic rank is the very least that Minister of Culture can face with. Recently Sergey Fedotov, former head of Russian Authors Society, has begun to give evidence. He is suspected in theft of 0.5 milliard rubles. Nikita Mikhalkov and Vladimir Medinsky can be also involved in this case. How was it possible to steal something without his knowledge?
Will Sergey Fedotov talk down on Medinsky?
In 2013 the complaints have arisen against Medinsky on failure of monuments’ registration. 16 milliard rubles were set aside for this purpose. And 20 thousands monuments never became the cultural heritage of Russia.
Holding a post of deputy he was always active in lobbying interests of gambling, alcohol and tobacco industries. Thereby he demonstrated that does not care about health of the nation. Needless to say anything about cultural heritage.
Vladimir Medinsky had no control over his subordinates. His deputy Grigory Pirumov was blamed in 2012 for conclusion of state contracts on restoration at inflated costs. Could really Vladimir Medinsky know nothing of this?
It had recently come to light that Medinsky arrogated the right to give out the distribution certificates without which a film screening in the cinema is impossible. Cinema is not only art, but business involving many people. But Medinsky does not care of them too. If he wants, he can move forward the movie premiere to six months. And if I he is given money, he can reduce this term.
Culture is neglected?
Russia historically takes pride of cultural heritage. There are many things for us to be proud of. However the Ministry of Culture headed by Medinsky turned into organization for earning money for its leader and others close to him.
As a result we see films by Fedor Bondarchuk who in principle does not have any directorial education, as he got a diploma for the film “9th Company.” His last work “Gravity” does not to stand up to any criticism. As well as «Stalingrad».
All projects of Bondarchuk are supported by the Ministry of Culture as production projects of Konstantin Ernst. It is what it is. Early this year many viewers were outraged with New Year programmes where the same “clowns” took part. But Medinsky does not care about the opinion of viewers.
Culture is either there or it is not. And first of all the head of Ministry should have it. When he does not have it, it doesn’t make sense to speak about culture in general. Like priest, like people.
Attack on the ICR is another demonstration of money-focused interests of Vladimir Medinsky. And Sergey Fedotov is now speaking. And his evidence can lead to resignation of Medinsky. If he is fortunate.