An urgent communication of the International Center of the Roerichs
On 9 October 2019 the international community is celebrating 145th anniversary of Nicholas Roerich, one of the greatest Russian painters, who was also a thinker and public figure of world renown. Many countries are organizing exhibitions, conferences and other cultural events dedicated to this commemorative date.
On the eve of this anniversary within the meeting of the Valdai club President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin mentioned the merits of our outstanding compatriot. Vladimir Putin underlined that “In Russia the bright colors of the East have always inspired our writers, poets, artists and musicians. I am talking about Pushkin, Rimsky-Korsakov, Arsenyev, Vereshchagin, Kandinsky and Roerich. The Russian audience as well as foreign knows these names”. It is true. In India Nicholas Roerich’s artistic legacy is highly appreciated, his beautiful paintings are considered national heritage. On the occasion of the artist’s anniversary, a memorial bust of Nicholas Roerich will be unveiled in the Himalayan estate in Kullu, where Nicholas Roerich spent the last 20 years of his life. This ceremony is a tribute that the Indian nation pays to the prominent artist.
However, Russian officials of the Ministry of Culture and members of the State Museum of Oriental Art (SMOA) have decided to celebrate Nicholas Roerich’s anniversary in their own way. On the eve of 3 October 2019, Director General of the State Museum of Oriental Art Mr. Sedov firmly demanded that the International Center of the Roerichs dismantle the Roerichs monument located in the territory of the Lopukhins’ estate (Moscow) within 5 days, where it was unveiled in 1999, 20 years ago, in the presence of the Foreign Policy Adviser to the President Mr. Vorontsov and Minister of Moscow City Government Mr. Norkin.
The height of cynicism is that the destruction of the Roerichs memorial containing ashes of Nicholas Roerich is organized namely in the conjunction with his anniversary (9 October). Together with the memorial the officials insist on dismantling of busts of Nicholas Roerich’s sons Yuri, who was an orientalist of world renown, and Svetoslav, an outstanding artist and public figure, who donated his parents’ heritage to their Motherland.
It is known that the Roerichs memorial was installed within the territory of the Lopukhins’ estate in accordance with Svetoslav Roerich’s will. In fact, it was one of the conditions for transferring the Roerichs’ heritage to Russia. Besides, he set forward two more conditions, namely to establish the non-governmental Museum named after Nicholas Roerich and locate it in the Lopukhins’ estate. The Russian Government fulfilled these conditions and respected them until Mr. Medinsky was appointed the Minister of Culture and started a war against the Roerichs.
In April 2017 the non-governmental Museum named after Nicholas Roerich was illegally seized and completely destroyed. The Ministry of Culture demanding to demolish the Roerichs monument is thus making a new step to clear anything reminding of this outstanding family from Moscow city center.
However, the Roerichs monument was created only with non-governmental funds. Thousands of people from different countries and cities collected donations to fulfil Svetoslav Roerich’s will and install the monument dedicated to his outstanding father in the Lopukhins’ estate. Today, the State Museum of Oriental Art which broke the equipment and display of the non-governmental Museum named after Nicholas Roerich and seized the Roerichs’ heritage with impunity and the silent consent of the administration of the Ministry of Culture, is going to destroy the monument containing the artist’s ashes.
We call on Russian and foreign community and the admirers of Nicholas Roerich! If you respect this prominent figure, do not let anyone treat the memory of Nicholas Roerich and his family with disrespect! It is necessary that everyone raise the voice against immoral actions of the Russian officials of the Ministry of Culture!
Press Office of the International Center of the Roerichs