Das Ausstellungsprojekt "Der Roerich-Pakt. Geschichte und Gegenwart" zu Gast in Bulgarien (engl.)

Das Ausstellungsprojekt „Der Roerich-Pakt. Geschichte und Gegenwart“ zu Gast in Bulgarien (engl.)

29.11.207 – The exhibition “The Roerich Pact. History and modernity“ was opened at the gallery of National High School of Plastic Arts and Design named after Dechko Uzunov in Kazanlak (Bulgaria) on November 29, 2017. The exhibition was organized by the International Center of the Roerichs, the Ministry of Education and Science of Bulgaria, the International Committee for the Preservation of the Roerichs’ Heritage, National High School of Plastic Arts and Design named after Dechko Uzunov, the East-West Indological Foundation, the National Roerich Society in Bulgaria.
  Kazanlak is located in the geographical center of Bulgaria and is the center of the Valley of Roses, also called the Valley of Thracian kings. Every year in June for more than a century this region, famous for rose oil production, celebrates a holiday of roses in Kazanlak. A lot of Thracian tombs, crypts and temples have been discovered on the territory of the valley. The tomb of King Seuthes III as one of the latest major findings was discovered in 2004. The Thracian culture in its heyday gave the great Teacher, that of Orpheus, to the ancient world. Orpheus brought here priceless knowledge and the beauty of art. The Thracian tomb (ІV-ІІІ centuries B.C.), also called as the Kazanlak tomb, is the most significant monument of Thracian culture in Bulgaria. It is located in the city of Kazanlak and it is the treasure-trove of ancient art masterpieces. The Kazanlak tomb is included in the list of a UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Lyudmila Zhivkova (1942-1981), a historian, a Minister of Culture, an outstanding public figure of Bulgaria, closely cooperated with Svetoslav Roerich. She was the author of an important scientific study dedicated to the Kazanlak tomb.
On the initiative of Lyudmila Zhivkova, Bulgaria in 1978 implemented a large-scale International Program “Nicholas Roerich”, in which Svetoslav Roerich took part. In one of his visits to Bulgaria in the 1980s, Svetoslav Roerich visited Kazanlak, where he got acquainted with the Rose Museum. Svetoslav Roerich met Dechko Uzunov, an outstanding Bulgarian artist who was the patron of the National School of Plastic Arts and Design in Kazanlak.
The exhibition of the International Center of the Roerichs in Kazanlak, dedicated to the Roerich Pact, as well as other exhibitions organized jointly with the Ministry of Education and Science of Bulgaria and secondary schools associated with UNESCO, is held under the patronage of the Bulgarian National Commission for UNESCO.
The exhibition was opened by the Principle of National High School of Plastic Arts and Design named after Dechko Uzunov, Mrs .Ts. Vitkova and the head of the Bulgarian branch of the International Center of the Roerichs M. Kutsarova. Mrs. Vitkova stressed the importance of the exhibition as a part of the ICR International Exhibition Project and the International Committee for the Preservation of the Roerichs‘ Heritage, which began in 2012 at UNESCO, Paris. It and was held in 18 countries of Europe, Asia and America.
M.Kutzarova in her speech at the opening of the exhibition told about the enormous contribution of Nicholas Roerich to the creation of the whole international legal protection of the values of culture and people of creativity, about the Banner of Peace, created by Nicholas Roerich, the history of the Roerich Pact and the adoption of the ideas of the Treaty in Bulgaria in the 30–es of the XX century, thanks to the Bulgarian Committee for the Roerich Pact and the Bulgarian Roerich Society. She spoke about the activities of the International Center of the Roerichs, created by Svetoslav Roerich in Moscow in order to popularize and validate the ideas of the Roerich Pact in the world, which are now extremely relevant not only in view of the increasing number of armed conflicts in the world, but also because of the possible destruction of cultural objects in peaceful time. Students, teachers, as well as representatives of museums and cultural community of Kazanlak t attended the opening of the exhibition.
After the opening ceremony of the exhibition, the head of the Bulgarian branch of the ICR M.Kutsarova gave a lecture on the Roerich Pact and its initiator, the great Russian artist, scientist, thinker Nicholas Roerich. She spoke about the most important ideas of Nicholas Roerich, which were laid down in the Treaty those of World through Culture and the priority of culture in the life of people, society and an individual. She also talked about the links of Svetoslav Roerich, an outstanding Russian artist, thinker, scientist, younger son of Nicholas Roerich, with Bulgaria and, in particular, with Kazanlak. The exhibition of the ICR “The Roerich Pact. History and Modernity “ will be exhibited in Kazanlak until the end of December 2017.
(Tranlated from Russian by N. Shnaider)

Feierstunde zum 80. Jahrstag des Ersten Kongresses der Baltischen Roerich-Gesellschaften (engl.)

09.12.2017 – The BALTIC International Academy hosted a round table discussion „The Roerich Pact yesterday, today, tomorrow. To the 80th anniversary of the First Congress of the Baltic Roerich Societies“ in Riga (Latvia) on December 9, 2017 . Latvian cultural figures as well as representatives of the Roerich organizations from Austria, Belarus, Bulgaria, Germany, Latvia, Lithuania, Russia, Estonia took part in it. The Latvian branch of the International Center of the Roerichs (ICR), the Baltic International Academy, the International Center of the Roerichs and the European Association „EURASSIM“ were among the organizers of the celebration.
THE GRAND opening ceremony took place in the foyer, where an exhibition dedicated to the creation and signing of the Roerich Pact was launched. Evgeniya Dynko has performed „Prelude in C-dur“ by Bach and „Waltz“ by Georgy Sviridov. Marianna Ozolina, the Chairperson of the Latvian Branch of the ICR has greeted the participants of the meeting and addressed the words of gratitude to the Baltic International Academy. She has noted that the Banner of Peace, a symbol of the Roerich Pact, has a direct link to the venue of the round table. The building in which the round table was to be held a quarter of a century ago was one of the blocks of Riga Institute of Civil Aviation Engineers. An astronaut Talgat Musabaev was among the graduates of this institute. It was Talgat Musabaev who hoisted in outer space the Banner of Peace, handed to him by the Vice-President of the ICR Lyudmila Shaposhnikova.

THE VICE-PRESIDENT of the ICR, Alexander Stetsenko, welcomed the audience, noting the seminal role of the Roerich Pact for all humankind. Attacks on the communities promoting the ideas of the Covenant, as well as destruction of cultural institutions hoisting the Banner of Peace, are the attempts to stop the evolutionary process. He emphasized the necessity to pass the test of firmness and fidelity to the ideas that can play a lifesaving role for our civilization.

THE OPENING CEREMONY was concluded by the first rector, the Board member of the Baltic International Academy, Doctor of Philosophy, Professor Valery Nikiforov. He noted that Nicholas Roerich dedicated his life to pursuing the noble goals of culture promoting. He pointed to the direct link between culture and education as a way of transferring the accumulated experience and knowledge from one generation to another. That is why the Roerich Hall, opened at the Baltic International Academy several years ago becomes an organic part of the university and a venue of cultural and educational activity of the Latvian branch of the ICR.

AFTER THE OPENING CEREMONY, the participants and guests went to the conference hall, where the moderator of the meeting, Irina Markina, the teacher of Cultural Studies Department of the Baltic International Academy, acquainted the participants with the greetings on the occasion of the jubilee of the First Congress of the Baltic Roerich Societies. They were sent by the International Council of the Roerich Organizations named after Svetoslav Roerich, the ICR branch in the Republic of Belarus and the Finnish Society of Nicholas Roerich. The Chairman of St. Petersburg branch of the ICR, Eduard Tomsha, welcomed the participants in video message.

MARIANNA OZOLINA, Chairperson of the Latvian Branch of the ICR, read out the greetings of the Latvian National Commission of UNESCO, sent by the Secretary General of the Commission, Baiba Molnika, to the organizers and participants of the meeting.
THE WORK of the round table was organized in the format of a mini-conference. Marianna Ozolina, Chairperson of the Latvian Branch of the ICR, spoke about the First Baltic Roerich Societies Congress held in Riga. The Roerich Pact in pre-war Latvia was supported by the greatest figures of literature and art. People who gave their names to state cultural institutions put their signatures on appeals to state authorities in order the country to join the first Treaty that was to become the cornerstone of international law-making in the field of culture protection. The beginning of the First Congress of the Baltic Roerich Societies coincided with the opening of the official Museum of Roerich’s paintings in Riga. This public museum of the Roerichs was presented with a total of 50 paintings.

IN the 30-es, the Dvina group was a subdivision of the Latvian Roerich Society. Yelena Shmejsa, a Board member of Daugavpils’ group of the Latvian branch of the ICR told about its work. She stressed that wherever Nicholas Roerich had planned to implement his plans, he had like-minded people. And Dvinsk, (now Daugavpils), was among those venues where the group of the Roerich Pact followers was created.

THE CHAIRPERSON of the European Association for Support of the ICR and its non-governmental Nicholas Roerich Museum, the Chairperson of the Estonian Roerich Society (Tallinn, Estonia) Yelena Aleksandrova emphasized in her speech the All-European significance of the Latvian Roerich Society work in the 1930-es. She spoke about the contribution of Estonian public to the dissemination of the Roerich Pact ideas, participation of Estonian representatives in the work of the First Congress of the Baltic Roerich Societies, publications in Estonian press of that time. She cited an article from the newspaper Uus Eesti (1937) with Nicholas Roerich’s „The Old King“. This publication, in particular, said, „We can happily note that of all the foreign geniuses of our time there is no one closer to us in spirit than Nicholas Roerich”.

Yelena Alexandrova was alarmed by the events related to the seizure of the non-governmental Nicholas Roerich Museum of the ICR by the Ministry of Culture of the Russian Federation in Moscow in spring of 2017.

THE THEME of the speech of the member of M.Ciurlionis society from Lithuanian city of Radviliškis Natalia Balkavičienė was the “Power of the Banner of Peace and the criteria of true Culture“. She turned to the ancient symbols, proving their connection with the Sign of the Banner of Peace and drew attention to the original creative mission of man. Art with its main purpose to create a human as a human is contributing much to it. She highlighted an inseparable connection of Nicholas Roerich with the philosophical teaching of the Living Ethics, as well as the significance of Culture as a means for spiritual life.

THE VICE-PRESIDENT of the International Center of the Roerichs Alexander Stetsenko (Russia, Moscow) in his speech called the Roerich Pact a message of the genius, indicating the way out of the series of armed conflicts for civilization. Nicholas Roerich saw the way out through the protection of Beauty, designed as a protection of cultural heritage. We see that all the conflicts are ultimately aimed at the destruction of cultural institutions and the people associated with the transfer of knowledge. Roerich proposed protecting the workers along with cultural objects, otherwise it will be impossible to educate the younger generation. The ideas of the Roerich Pact were the basis of the concept for the UNESCO creation.

A.V. STETSENKO emphasized that all three public museums created by Roerich were destroyed. The first one in New York was destroyed after the signing of the Roerich Pact. The second one in Riga was destroyed several years after the First Congress of the Baltic Roerich Societies. The third museum in Moscow was captured after the success of 25-year work of Lyudmila Shaposhnikova. The non-governmental museum was destroyed by the Ministry of Culture of the Russian Federation, the collections and property of the museum were seized. There take place continuing attempts to discredit the ICR. But it is the ICR that held four international conferences on the Roerich Pact and more than 300 thematic exhibitions. The highest point of the ICR’s activities was the „Roerich Pact: History and Modernity“ project. With the support of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, it was held in 2012 in 17 countries of Europe, Asia and Latin America, in 150 cities of the Russian Federation. The project was highly appreciated by the UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. After that, clouds began to gather over the ICR and its non-governmental museum. In spring of 2017, the Lopukhins‘ estate was seized and the public museum was destroyed. We cannot but see a certain pattern in these events.

PhD, ASS. PROFESSOR at A.M. Gorky Ural State University, the Chairperson of the International Council of the Roerich Organizations named after Svetoslav Roerich Olga Urozhenko (Russia, Yekaterinburg) in her poster report, read by a member of the Latvian branch of the ICR G.V. Vdovina, turned to the subject of the Roerich Pact as an expression of the philosophy of cosmic reality. She told that the multi-complex semantic field of the Banner of the Roerich Pact includes key images, concepts, laws of the philosophy of cosmic reality, set forth in the Living Ethics.

THANKS TO THIS, the Pact becomes not only a valuable sheet of stamped paper, not only an important legal instrument, but a lever for life reorganizing; a world-wide international impulse for putting in operation the „swiveling lever” of the world“; a „pied-а-terre“ that Archimedes sought to deploy the Earth to a new turn of evolution; an engine on the path of evolution; an anchor keeping from sinking into the abyss; and a “rudder” for life transforming.

KSENIA RUDZITE (Riga, Latvia), the curator of foreign fine arts collection, a research associate of the “Riga Stock Exchange” Fine Arts Museum, told about the history of the Riga collection of Nicholas Roerich paintings. The artist carefully selected the canvases for the Latvian Roerich Society, both in terms of subjects and formats, based on the peculiarities of the premises in which the museum was to be located. She dwelled on the dramatic moments associated with the destruction of the museum in 1940, the loss of the collection’s part in war years, the dramatic and tragic fate of the Latvian Roerich Society members, the confiscation followed by the disappearance of the archives and library of the Latvian Roerich Society. Ksenia Rudzite told about the “Riga Stock Exchange” Fine Arts Museum exhibition activities in our days and described how the paintings of Nicholas and Svetoslav Roerichs are stored in the museum.

THE DIRECTOR of the Academic Library of Latvian University, Venta Kotsere (Riga, Latvia), named the Roerich Pact the curator of the Academic Library of Latvian University. In 2009, when the library was threatened to be closed, there held an exhibition, organized jointly with the Latvian branch of the ICR and dedicated to the Roerich Pact. When the time of the exhibition was over, the library personnel asked to leave it for a while. The workers of the oldest book storage, founded in the 16th century, were worried about the fate of the library and perceived the Roerich Pact exhibition as a special shield. And only when the threat of the library closing passed, the exposition set off on a journey to another place where it has long been awaited. Today, the Academic Library of the Latvian University keeps rare editions and documents related to the life and work of the Roerichs. They are regularly exhibited. The thematic exhibitions are carried out in cooperation with the Latvian branch of the ICR.

TATYANA ZAKHAROVA, Minsk State Linguistic University , a member of the Belarusian branch of the ICR, (Minsk, Belarus), opened a topic of the Roerich Pact in the context of intercultural communication in her video presentation. She noted that the Roerich Pact is a focus in which all major lines related to the development of human society have converged. There are several levels in the Pact, those of evolutionary and historical, terrestrial and cosmic, philosophical and political. The relevance of Roerich’s ideas is manifested through a dialogue of cultures that can relieve tension and create a climate of confidence. Universal values constitute the foundations of the Roerich Pact, it considers the evolutionary significance of Beauty as the basis of relations of peoples.

THE SECRETARY of the European Association EURASSIM, the chairperson of the German Roerich Society Halina Schneider (Remscheid, Germany) turned to the topic of the past and the future in the preservation of cultural heritage. She stressed that not all the ideas of Nicholas Roerich were adopted by contemporary international legal acts in the field of culture. The priority issue is the Roerich Pact idea of unconditional protection of cultural property and the priority of culture over military necessity.

The lack of references to the fundamental ideas of Nicholas Roerich in international law at various levels of government testifies to a low level of knowledge and understanding the ideas of the Roerich Pact. No one remembers the concept of a struggle against the „quiet pogroms“ of cultural monuments in Russia, which Nicholas Roerich put forward even before 1917. The deliberate destruction of cultural institutions, those of museums, the intentional destruction of historical monuments and inept restoration or the lack of a necessary restoration work, lead to the destruction of the part of the cultural heritage of all mankind. All this takes place in peacetime. There are a lot of such examples, but the most striking one is the destruction of the non-governmental Nicholas Roerich Museum of the ICR in Moscow.

The member of the International Committee for the Preservation of the Roerich Heritage Tatyana Zhitkova (Riga, Latvia) spoke about the activity of this international non-governmental organization. The ideas of the Roerich Pact meet the aspirations of the people of the world and do not meet the interests of the powerful. The Latvian Roerich society in the 30-es operated in conditions of regulation, that means that the work of the public museum in Riga was limited to two days a week. The Museum had to ask for permission to hold the First Congress of the Baltic Roerich Societies and open the Museum of Nicholas Roerich paintings.

IN RUSSIA, back home, the attitude toward the artist is even less favorable. There launched the struggle for the legacy of the Roerichs’ family by those who did not receive it. Realizing that the Roerich heritage is an essential part of the world cultural heritage, the ICR conference dedicated to the 75th anniversary of the Roerich Pact decided to establish the International Committee for the Preservation of the Roerich Heritage. It has been created and acting in accordance with the norms of international law. The most painful point in this work is the situation around the ICR. The Committee appealed to the President of Russia V.V. Putin with the request to save the non-governmental museum of the ICR. It must be admitted, Tatyana Zhitkova noted, that the destruction of the non-governmental museum became possible as a result of a deformation of the understanding of culture in some people minds.
FOREIGN MEMBER of the Russian Academy of Natural Sciences, head of the branch of the ICR in Bulgaria, chairperson of the Roerich National Society (Sofia), laureate of the International Prize of Helena Roerich (Sofia, Bulgaria) Marga Kutsarova in her presentation by video link noted that the Roerich Pact is an integral system for the protection of cultural property. She drew attention to the fact that the Treaty first introduced and established a number of principles and rules in international law.
BY MEANS OF the Roerich Pact, humankind has gained an understanding that the values of culture, regardless of their belonging, are the heritage of all mankind, that they are to be unconditionally protected and respected both in an armed conflict, and in peacetime.

FOR THE FIRST TIME, a well-known and compulsory sign of cultural values protection that of the Banner of Peace was established. The personnel of museums, scientific, artistic, educational and cultural institutions are to be protected in the same way as the institutions themselves. The Roerich Pact is implementing an all-embracing approach; it provides a very high level of defense for the widest range of protected objects. The Roerich Pact is the first treaty that introduced the protection of cultural property in peacetime in international law. This is connected with one of the main objectives of the Treaty, and perhaps the most important one, that of the educational. Peace through Culture is one of the most significant ideas embodied in the Roerich Pact. Due to this idea the Pact provides for the protection of culture in peacetime and demands for the priority of culture both in legislative and executive authorities work and in the life of society.

THE PRESIDENT of the Austrian Roerich Society, National Committee of the Roerich Pact, Master of Law, Member of the Coordinating Council of Russian Compatriots in Austria on legal issues Leyla Strobl (Vienna, Austria) participated in her presentation by video link considered the connection of the space of global civil initiatives and the Roerich movement. The purpose of this type of diplomacy, by her, is to unite civilian efforts aimed at satisfying the interests of all the parties involved for the benefit and prosperity of their countries and regions. Public diplomacy is much closer to people and is free of the regulated protocol of an ordinary diplomacy. Therefore, it is characterized by a simple language and a number of very simple but effective approaches to the work. The international movement in support of the Roerich Pact has been creating an effective communication space, involving more and more people for whom culture is of leading evolutionary significance. The task of this movement participants is to bring this knowledge to the world, as well as do their best for it to be perceived by our contemporaries and gain a worthy place in their life.

PhD (Soc.Sc.), the Chairpersn of Perm Regional branch of the International League for the Protection of Culture Olga Kalinkina (Perm, Russia) in her poster presentation, read by N.A. Slinko, turned to the question of the relationship of culture and civilization.

THE DEFINITION of „culture“ and „civilization“ for modern science remains controversial. Some scholars are opposing these phenomena, others identifying. Underestimation of the role of culture in the development of civilization, disregard for the moral side of life has already led humanity to wars, rampant crime, nature and technogenic cataclysms of a planetary scale. The whole course of historical development of society has proved that civilization without culture is barren, devoid of its essence and soul. The intellect without soul and heart has dominated in such a civilization. That is why the problem of protecting culture and world cultural heritage is vital in modern society.

CULTURE and civilization are organically connected, they can not be regarded as two parallel processes, independent of each other. Material resources of modern civilization make it possible to ensure the life of an individual, due to which a person gets more opportunities for creativity, spiritual growth, cultural improvement, but these opportunities are necessary to be properly disposed.

THE MODERATOR of the round table Irina Markina has summed up the outcome of the international meeting. She noted that the 80th anniversary of the First Congress of Baltic Roerich Societies was related to the work of non-governmental organizations that had done a great deal to ensure the protection of culture to become an all-human concern. 80 years is not much for the history of mankind, and a lot for a man. During this period, there appeared a legal basis for the States to make the protection of culture not only the concern of the enthusiasts. At the same time, the protection of culture is still the concern of those directly involved in culture. Our time is the time of global civil initiatives. The ICR is actively working to save culture per se. This is actually the matter of an enormous importance of a global scale involving various people and social forces.

AT THE CONCLUSION of the round table, the chairperson of the German Roerich Society, Halina Schneider, acquainted the audience with the draft resolution, which was adopted unanimously.

THE INTERNATIONAL meeting ended with the documentary by Latvian director Ansis Epners “The Roerich’s Banner of Peace“, produced by Riga film studio in 1986.

THE SECOND SECRETARY of the Embassy of the Russian Federation in the Republic of Latvia A.A. Khrapova attended this event.

(Translated from Russian by N. Shnaider)

Hochsicherheits-Museum (engl.)

22.11.2017 – Sergey Skorodumov, Yan Somov.

 

“The first and the only paragraph of this statute read: 
“If you feel that the law obstructs you, then, 
Taking the statute off the table, put it underneath you. 
And then all this, having become invisible, 
Makes your action a lot easier.””

M.E. Saltykov-Shchedrin. “History of one City”

Nobody prevents us from exceeding our laws

The Non-Governmental Nicholas Roerich Museum of the International Center of the Roerichs (ICR) welcomed visitors in the Lopoukhins’ Estate, Moscow. People from different countries came here to admire the paintings of the great Master of Painting, to be acquainted with the scientific and philosophical ideas of Cosmic Evolution, to take part in the annual international scientific forums. Outstanding musicians arranged concerts of classical music in the hall of Svetoslav Roerich in the evenings…

There is nothing of this anymore. Six months ago, under the leadership of officials of the Ministry of Culture of the Russian Federation, the Non-Governmental Nicholas Roerich Museum of the ICR was captured and declared a governmental museum of the Roerichs as a branch of the State Museum of Oriental Art. The officials tried very hard to follow the motto of their high-ranking colleague Viktor Chernomyrdin: „Nobody prevents us from exceeding our laws.“

The world has hardly ever seen such a strange cultural institution. It is not so easy to get into it. Strict security guards are ordered to let visitors in the grounds of the estate only by special invitation. Presumably, no one in this institution is going to observe international human rights as regards to common visitors having no access to the cultural heritage [1] .

After this no wonder that the first and the only exhibition of the new state museum, “Light from the Orient”, was visited only by 240 visitors during 20 days (October 6-26, 2017) [2]. An average of 12 people per day. Most likely, this number includes the staff of the new state institution.

According to the director of the State Museum of Oriental Art A. Sedov, the State Roerich Museum is going to demand additional funding of 36 million rubles a year [3]. Why did the officials destroy the Non-Governmental Nicholas Roerich Museum, which was a success in its operating without state subsidies? And for what purpose are the officials going to establish a new strict regime museum on the ruins? It’s pretty hard for an ordinary man to understand. We will try to deal with it step by step.

When passing the legacy of his family back home, Svetoslav Roerich put forward two prerequisites. Firstly, the Museum named after Nicholas Roerich should have a non-governmental status, and secondly, be located in the Moscow Lopoukhins’ Estate. The government gave Svetoslav Roerich all the necessary guarantees [4].

For a quarter of a century under the leadership of Lyudmila Shaposhnikova, Director – General and the confidant of Svetoslav Roerich, the Non-Governmental Nicholas Roerich museum was a real magnet of beauty and new science. The cooperation with advanced scientists, cultural figures and representatives of the public was increasing every year. The exhibition of the International Center of the Roerichs “The Roerich Pact. History and Modernity” was a success in 17 countries. The ICR was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize for this planetary scale project. Multilateral peacekeeping activities of the ICR were supported by UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon; UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova; the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation represented by Minister Sergey Lavrov; and Permanent Representative of the Russian Federation to the United Nations V. Churkin; as well as by heads of other authoritative international organizations.

One could hardly imagine that the only one government official, Minister of Culture Vladimir Medinsky, easily reconsider and violate government guarantees provided to Svetoslav Roerich, and the history of the Roerichs’ legacy acquire a criminal character.

Criminal history

On the night of April 28 to April 29, 2017, the officials of the State Museum of Oriental Art got a go-ahead for storming the Non-Governmental Nicholas Roerich Museum. An unmarked team of several dozen bouncers grabbed the estate with the entire museum collection of the ICR. The workers of the Non-Governmental Nicholas Roerich Museum were put out of the gate. In the morning, the State Investigations Office of the Ministry of Internal Affairs, in the hot pursuit, formalized the transfer of the ICR property to the new owner, that of the State Museum of Oriental Art in the person of its director A. Sedov, for “safe custody” without having made any inventory.

The priceless paintings and archives of the Roerichs’ family, as well as personal belongings of the museum workers, have been still in the hands of the nouveaux riches, glittered with power. Prior to this capture, an international legal practice has ever known such drastic example of illegal interference in the work of an authoritative international cultural organization.

For executing the most “dirty work”, the directorate of the State Museum of Oriental Art turned out to hire a private security agency “Phoenix” LLC [5]. This hired special division was rewarded by the State Museum of Oriental Art beyond imagining by the sum of 2.5 million rubles, or just over 43 thousand of US dollars for such abecedarian and short-lived special operation against museum workers, most of whom were women. Of course, at the expense of the State. By the way, the private mercenary armies of the third world countries may envy such earnings. But if the jackpot has been estimated by Minister Medinsky in the amount of more than 15 billion rubles [6], then, as they say, “any trade-off is not appropriate here.”

The museum workers of the ICR and their voluntary assistants, whose human rights were cynically violated by Minister Medinsky, go on fulfilling their duty in good faith. For six months, they are at the fence of the Lopoukhins‘ estate on duty to tell the visitors, who cannot get to the Museum, about the outstanding members of the Roerich family. The volunteers are conducting virtual tours of the halls of the captured Museum by means of illustrated catalogs.

But their feasible work in the name of the country’s culture is becoming more dangerous. The role of a voluntary supervisor at the gate of the regime object is now performed by a legal adviser of the State Museum of Oriental Art Yu. Izbachkov. He arranges public demonstrative actions such as to tear up a reproduction of Nicholas Roerich’s picture “Saint Sergius”, tear off the Banner of Peace from the car of the museum workers and even to hit a woman, that of the advocate of the ICR [7]. All his actions are accompanied by obscene insults, threats, socially dangerous behavior. This is being done with the indifference and inaction of the local police. The Internet is full of photo- and video- evidences of hooligan tricks of this man, drunk by his own authority [8]. But the police and the prosecutor’s office, as if on someone’s command, methodically put the numerous statements of his victims under the cloth.

When one looks at this surreal picture, one realizes that nothing good could have come about from the raider capture of the Non-Governmental Nicholas Roerich Museum. Violence can generate only disgrace. Neither culture nor beauty can grow out of crimes and impunity.

Moreover, there are many reasons to assume that the new state museum of strict regime is a temporary phenomenon. It is very likely that in the future, its halls will turn into profitable offices, and the Roerich paintings can at best be in storerooms, at worst at auctions and in private collections, as has already happened with the collection of George Roerich [9].

Golden Ladder with Crystal Handrails

According to the official version of the Ministry of Culture of the Russian Federation and personally Minister V. Medinsky, the capture of the estate was undertaken exclusively with the purpose of its protection. At the day of the seizure, Medinsky tried to justify his unlawful actions. On the official website of the Ministry of Culture, there appeared a message: “The State Museum of Oriental Art has taken measures to ensure the safety of the Lopoukhins’ estate.” [10].

After such a statement, it would be logical to see a team of restorers, humming machinery, rapid installation of stagings in the grounds of the estate… Alas. Six months passed. The time would seem to be enough to start at least any work to restore the allegedly collapsing manor. But absolutely nothing has followed the raider’s capture of the Non-Governmental Nicholas Roerich Museum. Perhaps the officials are pressed of funding. Nothing of that kind! Significant public funds are spent on anything, but the Lopoukhins’ estate.

According to official figures, the officials allocated 2.22 million rubles to create the Internet portal “Roerich’s heritage” [11]; those of 12.25 million rubles to organize and conduct the exhibition “Nicholas Roerich: An Ascent” in Russia and the USA [12]; not less than 76.93 million rubles, that is, 1.29 million of US dollars to restore the central staircase of the Museum-Institute of the Roerichs’ family in St. Petersburg [13]. And this is not counting 17.57 million rubles for other restoration works in this museum [14].

It will take some work to contrive how to spend all these money in the framework of the projects mentioned. One can imagine a royal banquet at the opening of the Internet portal “Roerich’s heritage”, a golden staircase with crystal handrails in the Museum-Institute of the Roerichs’ family, as well as an unforgettable trip of the leadership of the Ministry of Culture of Russia to America to the Roerich exhibition.

No penny has been planned or allocated to support and restore the Lopoukhins’ estate. This means only that the cause for the forcible capture of the estate and destruction of the Non-Governmental Nicholas Roerich Museum was not the Ministry’s caring for technical condition of the estate. That’s quite another. But what exactly? In order to get an answer to this, we are to get acquainted with the economical projects of the leadership of the State Museum of Oriental Art.

A museum or an apartment house?

On August 11, 2017, the State Museum of Oriental Art concluded an agreement for an independent construction and technical expertise of buildings 4 and 7 of the Lopoukhins’ estate [15] with a certain LLC “Scientific – Expert and Legal Center “Avangard,“ registered on May 11, 2017. That is, this Scientific-Expert center did not exist at all three months before the conclusion of this agreement.

Do you think that the Avangard Center has been tasked to estimate the costs to remove the imaginable damages of the Lopoukhins’ estate? Nothing of this kind! The expert was instructed to “estimate the values at current prices of the necessary and sufficient works and materials to repair the premises of each building (without the adjacent territory) in order to bring the layout of the premises to the condition at the date of transfer to the User (as of 1993 when transferring the land plot with structures).”

Let us recall that from 1965 to 1993 the monument of cultural heritage of the XVII-XIX centuries “The Lopoukhins’ Estate” was used by one of the trusts of the Ministry of Heavy Machinery of the USSR [16] for prudential needs and the estate was brought to a poor condition. Thanks to Svetoslav Roerich and the guarantees he received from the Government, in 1993 the ICR began to restore the Lopoukhins’ estate from the ruins and create the Non-Governmental Nicholas Roerich Museum in it. The current leaders of the Ministry of Culture of the Russian Federation and the State Museum of Oriental Art intentionally keep silent about the cost of the estate restoration of more than 1 billion rubles (!), owing to donations of patrons and those of the public of Russia and other countries. [17].

Judging by official documents, the officials are going to “save” the estate (that is in excellent condition) by rebuilding the museum complex into an administrative construction, as it was by 1993. The calculations are in progress. The Lopoukhins’ Estate in the center of Moscow seems to get more profitable use than that of service the revival of Russian culture.

Thus, the undertaken “measures to ensure the safety of the Lopoukhins’ estate” is one more myth of the minister Medinsky, by which he is shielding the criminal seizure of the beautiful and successfully operated non-governmental museum complex and the plan to further its liquidation. The state museum of strict regime, hastily organized by Medinsky in the Lopoukhins’ estate seems to be nothing more than a sham to divert attention and calm the public opinion.

The Inquisition at State Account

The leaders of the Ministry of Culture and the State Museum of Oriental Art have planned to eliminate not only the museum complex, but the International Center of the Roerichs, which stands guard over the notarized will of Svetoslav Roerich. The expectations of the officials are perfectly clear and transparent. If to destroy the social organization to which Svetoslav Roerich transferred the legacy of his family, the access to the multi-million cultural treasure will be open to them. How to do it? It’s elementary. The officials try to present the ICR, a world-renowned cultural and scientific organization, as a sect and blame it for extremism so then to liquidate it through the court.

In April 2017, the Director of the State Museum of Oriental Art A. Sedov concluded an agreement with LLC “New Security Systems Group of Companies.” This time an order was given to provide “a set of services to make an expert opinion on the ideological position and ideological activities of the IPO “The International Center of the Roerichs”; to prepare a summary report with a view to identifying the characteristics falling within the definition of a religious doctrine (a religious sect, a religious group), according to the terms of reference (Appendix No. 1).” [18].

The price of the contract was 400 thousand rubles [19]. The piquancy of the situation is that the main activity of the mentioned LLC is that of “consulting on matters of commercial activity and management”, and 11 additional ones imply such specializations as “an installation of industrial machines and equipment”, “an operation of the office”, and the like [20]. It’s a kind of Jack- of- all- trades organization. However, if money is offered, why not work it out? Moreover, at present it is much easier to make a customized expert opinion [21]. Especially when the case is simplified by an unobtrusive hint in Appendix No. 1 to the treaty: “To analyze the main tenets of the Agni-Yoga teachings in comparison with the religious teachings of the New Age. To conduct an analysis of the literary creativity of the staff of IPO “the ICR” in terms of a religious component presence.”

In fact, the Ministry of Culture, by the aid of the State Museum of Oriental Art, is looking for the presence of a “religious component” in numerous fundamental scientific works of Lyudmila Shaposhnikova, an Indologist, Philosopher, Honored Artist of the Russian Federation, Academician of the Russian Academy of Natural Sciences and K.E. Tsiolkovsky Russian Academy of Astronautics, Honorary Doctor of Sofia University, Honorary Doctor of Mongolian Academy of Sciences, Honorary Doctor of Kyrgyz-Russian Slavic University. These are her works that make up a significant part of the “literary creativity of the staff of IPO “the ICR”. All of them are based on the philosophy of the Roerichs.

Lyudmila Shaposhnikova is rightly considered the founder of a new scientific school of modern Roerich studies. Lyudmila Shaposhnikova was awarded the Order of Friendship and the Order of Merit for the Fatherland, IV degree. Her scientific activity is recognized in many countries of the world.

Certainly, these experts of a broad profile are certain to omit in their summary decision that the scientific nature of Nicholas and Helena Roerichs’ philosophical views was confirmed by Library and Bibliographic Classification published in 2012 [22]. The Russian State Library, the Russian National Library and the Library of the Academy of Sciences were working on its release. Philosophical views of the Roerichs along with the world outlook of the world-famous scientists V.Vernadsky and A.Chizhevsky are referred to the heading of “Russian Philosophy – Cosmism.”

The fact that the philosophy of Living Ethics has nothing to do with the “New Age religious teaching,” has been proved many times. The term “New Age” was used by the occultist Alice Bailey, who was sharply criticized by Helena Roerich [23]. The direction of “New Age” is characterized by whateverism and a superficial understanding of the Orient philosophical systems. In addition, “New Age” has nothing in common with the philosophy of Russian cosmism.

For a quarter of a century scientists and prominent public figures were cooperating with the ICR [24], studying the philosophy of Living Ethics. A lot of proceedings of scientific conferences and other publications were edited, and a number of dissertations defended [25].

Back in 2001, a scientific expertise of the cultural and educational activities of the International non-governmental organization “The International Center of the Roerichs” was conducted by the Full Doctor of Philosophy, the professor of Moscow State Institute of International Relations (MSIIR) of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation, a well-known religious scholar V. Glagolev. The conclusions of the expertise, which were published more than 15 years ago, stated, “the International Center of the Roerichs is essentially a cultural and educational organization, and therefore it does not represent a sect, a totalitarian sect, or a religious sect on any of the grounds on which a sect is identified in contemporary scientific literature. Therefore, in particular, the activities of the ICR cannot be characterized as religious ones (there is no mythology, cult practice, and stable organization of a religious charismatic type).“ [26].

It is unlikely that the experts of LLC “New Security Systems Group of Companies” will take all these facts into account, their conclusions were apparently predetermined financially. Politician ideological censorship of the ICR books (1991-2017), initiated by the Medinsky’s Ministry of Culture, regarding the philosophy of the Roerichs, might result in banning of the exhibition of the Non-Governmental Nicholas Roerich Museum in Russia, violent separation of the great Master’s painting from his philosophical views and even in distortion of his paintings’ interpretation, reflecting the essence of this philosophy, such as “Agni Yoga”, “The Song of Shambhala”, “Chintamani”, “Burning of Darkness”, “Fiat Rex” …

It is very likely that today’s head of the Ministry of Culture is becoming a source of new drastic tension in society. If the country’s leadership keeps silent even this time, one will be able to talk about modern inquisition establishing in Russia with all its functions, and at state expense.

Nature Reserve of Public Culture

Знамя МираIn 1992, Svetoslav Roerich notarized [27] the transfer of ownership rights to the paintings and archives of his family under the law of India, of which he was a citizen. This fact is legally indisputable. The Ministry of Culture does not even try to prove the contrary in Russian courts, let alone Indian or international ones. Neither the Ministry of Culture nor the State Museum of Oriental Art ever had or have any documents on the Roerichs’ heritage. But, as everyone knows, the full doctor of historical sciences Medinsky is a master of “interpretation of historical events and facts in the paradigm of state interests” [28].

This skill was useful to the minister to lie publicly at the State Duma on May 17, 2017. He said in his speech that the Ministry of Culture “had managed to return” an invaluable collection of the Soviet Roerich Foundation “to the ownership of the Russian Federation”, the collection, that for more than a quarter of a century was held by a certain private organization. [29]

A few days before the fiery speech of the invariably “truthful” Minister Medinsky, there appeared an information on the portal of the Unified Information System in the field of procurement [30], on the conclusion of a highly paid contract of the State Museum of Oriental Art with LLC “New Security Systems Group of Companies” for it to find (attention!) a legal “reasoning for the Russian Federation’s rights on the legacy of Svetoslav Roerich, transferred by him to the Soviet Foundation of the Roerichs.” The term of the agreement is to December 31, 2017. It follows that Medinsky and those who carried out his orders knew perfectly well that they were committing a robbery on April 28, 2017, seizing the collection and property of the Non-Governmental Nicholas Roerich Museum.

Minister Medinsky is under time-pressure. He is to present not lip service, paid by him at the Duma rostrum [31], but much more weighty arguments. The only downside is that it’s nowhere to get them. It remains only to pay handsome fee the “experts” from LLC “New Security Systems Group of Companies” in order they go there, do not know where, and bring it, I do not know what.

The words of Svetoslav Roerich proved that all the efforts of the officials were in vain, “As I already said, subordination of the Center to the Ministry of Culture or to the Museum of Oriental Art would unreasonably and wittingly narrow down the tasks and the opportunities of the Center. In my opinion, the Center must have significant independence, flexibility and the ability to function regardless of bureaucratic barriers using new, non-traditional approaches and appealing directly to the international community.”[32].

Svetoslav Roerich warned, “many organizations and people will certainly ask and demand some parts of the heritage” [33], referring to the fact that they can better dispose of it. And yet Svetoslav Roerich due to his high honesty and honor hoped to the end that the country’s leadership would fulfill its obligations.

Unfortunately, the most unfavorable development of this history has turned the Lopoukhins’ estate that of the reserve of rapidly disappearing social form of culture in Russia, into a zone of lawlessness, where the Constitution of the Russian Federation and international law are powerless. Almost a quarter of a million people has protested against this development by signing a petition in defense of the ICR and its Non-Governmental Nicholas Roerich Museum [34].

In order to save the disappearing culture of Russia the representatives of law enforcement bodies and the Russian Government are to show themselves strong enough to hear the voice of the people and stop the excesses of the officials of the Ministry of Culture and the State Museum of Oriental Art. For there is no bright future without the culture.

And the defenders of the Non-Governmental Nicholas Roerich Museum become more and more convinced in their future victory. They are sure that those who committed the raider seizure will be held accountable for their act and will find themselves in the remote location of the country, and then on the margins of the world’s history. The heritage of the Roerichs will be saved, and the Non-Governmental Nicholas Roerich Museum will open its doors to welcome visitors!

Svetoslav Roerich’s behest “One can’t delay” is more relevant today than ever. The people of Russia, having for centuries kept a rich Russian culture, should hear it. Otherwise, our children and grandchildren will have to look out at the state museums of strict regime through the lattice of fences for all their lives, and will be acquainted with a social form of culture exclusively through a history book.

Sergey Skorodumov
Member of the International Writers’ Association (Russia)

Yan Somov
lawyer (Belarus)

 

NOTES:

[1] Universal Declaration of Human Rights (article 27), International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (art. 15), Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, general comment (art. 21, para. 15), A / HRC / 17/38 (para. 78).

[2] The State Museum of the Roerichs. Milestones of development (group). Message from the 05.11.2017 at 12-53. // Facebook (official website). Access mode: https:// goo.gl/Y6h4wL, https:// goo.gl/dphpRW

[3] Members of the collegium of the Ministry of Culture approved the draft concept of the Museum of the Roerichs’ family // Ministry of Culture of the Russian Federation (official website), 16.02.2017. Access mode: https:// goo.gl/gUjCGe

[4] See: Resolution of the Council of Ministers of the USSR on November 4, 1989, No. 950 „On the Soviet Roerich Foundation and the N.K. Roerich Center-Museum“ and the Moscow Government Resolution No. 812 of October 3, 1995.

[5] Procurement dated 26.04.2017 No. 31705060821, No. 31705060794, No. 31705060791 // Official site of the unified information system in the field of procurement.

[6] V.Medinsky: the Roerichs’ heritage will return to Russia’s ownership secured // RIA Novosti (official website). 17.05.2017. Access mode: https:// ria.ru/culture/20170517/1494480477.html

[7] Lawyer of the State Museum of the Oriental Arts arranged a fight in the Roerich Museum // International Center of the Roerichs (official website). 27.10.2017. Access mode: http://www.icr.su/eng/news/icr/detail.php?ELEMENT_ID=5611

[8] Chronicle of the capture of the Non-Governmental Nicholas Roerich Museum (updated) // We will save the Roerich Museum (official website). Access mode: https://save.icr.su/en/2017/11/6063/

[9] Revyakin D.Yu. The ruinous heritage: Moscow apartment of George Roerich: Catalog. Photo chronicle. Archival documents. Moscow: International Center of the Roerichs, 2010. 500 p .: ill.

[10] News of the Ministry. Statement on the situation around the Lopoukhins’ Estate and the International Center of the Roerichs // Ministry of Culture of the Russian Federation (official website). 28.04.2017. Access mode: https:// goo.gl/kHr8ce, https:// goo.gl/3VrVpF

[11] Purchase No 0173100007716000595 of 11.08.2016 // Official site of the unified information system in the field of procurement. Access mode: https://goo.gl/DHF7wv

[12] Purchase No 0173100007717000396 dated 28.09.2017 // The official site of the unified information system in the field of procurement. Access mode: https://goo.gl/HqEsgH

[13] Procurement No 0372200180316000008, No. 0372200180316000013, No. 0372200180317000007 // The official site of the unified information system in the field of procurement. Access mode: https://goo.gl/hcEn4Thttps://goo.gl/j79rDvhttps://goo.gl/Nuq2L3

[14] The list of purchases for the Institute – Museum of the Roerichs’ family in St. Petersburg // The official site of the unified information system in the field of procurement. Access mode: https://goo.gl/GCVnbD

[15] Construction and technical expertise agreement dated August 11.08. 2017 // Official site of the unified information system in the procurement sphere. Access mode: https://goo.gl/HNtVh5

[16] The Lopoukhins’ Estate. Historical information // International Center of the Roerichs (official website). Access mode: http://www.icr.su/rus/museum/house/history/

[17] An open letter of representatives of 84 Roerich and socio-cultural organizations of Russia and other states that took part in the meeting „Non-Governmental Nicholas Roerich Museum of the International Center of the Roerichs needs protection“, held on February 22, 2014 in Moscow // International Council of the Roerich Organizations named after Svetoslav Roerich. (official website). Access mode: http://www.roerichs.com/Publications/Centre-Museum/18.htm (Source: Novaya Gazeta, 2014. March 31, No. 34).

[18] Procurement dated 26.04.2017 No. 31705060825 // Official site of the unified information system in the field of procurement. Access mode: https://goo.gl/gRwSgL

[19] Protocol dated 26.04.2017 to procurement No. 31705060825 // Official site of the unified information system in the field of procurement. Access mode: https://goo.gl/ZVxvko

[20] Information about LLC “NSS CG”// For honest business (official website). Access mode: https://goo.gl/gQvuvg

[21] Experts for special purposes. They fulfill any order for a verdict, they will find everything you need // Novaya Gazeta (official website). 15.09.2017, No. 102. Access mode: https://goo.gl/ZBWGjp

[22] Library and Bibliographic Classification. Middle tables. of 9 issues. Issue. 5: 80/88 “Philological Sciences. Fiction. Art. Art history. Religion. Philosophy. Psychology: a practical guide / Rus. state library, Rus. nat. library, Library of Rus. Acad. Sciences. Moscow: Pashkov’s House, 2012. 600 p.

[23] H. Roerich. Criticism of Alice Bailey // Yaroslavl Roerich Society „Orion“ (official website). Access mode: http://yro.narod.ru/zaschitim/antibailey/bailey.htm

[24] Living Ethics – is not a religion, but a system of scientific knowledge of the world // International Center of the Roerichs (official website). 29.12.2016. Access mode: access: http://www.icr.su/eng/protection/ethics/living-ethics-non-religion.php

[25] Chronological index of books and dissertations in the field of Roerich studies // Handbook of the Roerichs’ heritage. Vol. I: Russian and foreign researchers of the Roerichs’ heritage / under the general. ed. of L.V. Shaposhnikova. M .: ICR, 2014. P. 329-335.

26] “Scientific examination of the cultural and educational activities of the International Center of the Roerichs”, by Full Doctor of Philosophy, Professor of MSIIR Glagolev V.S. // Protect the name and heritage of the Roerichs. Volume 1. Documents. Publications in the press. Essays. Moscow: International Center of the Roerichs, 2001. P. 320-324.

[27] The Act on the transfer of ownership rights in favor of the International Center of the Roerichs by Svetoslav Roerich dated October 22, 1992, certified by an Indian notary in Bangalore // International Center of the Roerichs (official website). Access mode: https://goo.gl/YIo6xH

[28] Statement of the members of the Expert Council of the Higher Attestation Commission on History attached to the Ministry of Education and Science on 13.10.2017. Access mode: https://publizist.ru/blogs/108209/20744/

[29] Report of the International Center of the Roerichs on the speech of the Minister of Culture, V.R. Medinsky in the State Duma of the Russian Federation on 17.05. 2017 // # SaveMuseum of Roerich | #SaveRoerichMuseum (official website). Access mode: https://goo.gl/KFeV2A

[30] Procurement No. 31705060832 dated April 26, 2017 // Official site of the unified information system in the field of procurement. Access mode: https://goo.gl/um7mC8

[31] V. Medinsky: the Roerichs’ heritage will be returned to Russia’s ownership secured // RIA Novosti (official website). 17.05.2017. Access mode: https:// ria.ru/culture/20170517/1494480477.html

[32] Svetoslav Roerich. One can’t delay! // The newspaper “Soviet Culture”, 29.07.1989.

[33] The address of Svetoslav Roerich to the members of the board of the Soviet Roerich Foundation, 28.11.1989 // International Center of the Roerichs (official website). Access mode: http://lib.icr.su/node/15

[34] Petition „Follow the will of Svetoslav Roerich – save the non-governmental Nicholas Roerich Museum“// Change.org (official website). Access mode: http://goo.gl/vYSutS

 

Mitteilung des Internationalen Roerich-Zentrums zum Entscheid des Schiedsgerichts vom 22. August 2017 (engl.)

On August 22, 2017, the 9th Arbitration Court of Appeal refused the appeal of the International Center of the Roerichs (ICR) against the unlawful decision of the Moscow Arbitration Court in the case № А40 163033/2016 (on application by the State Museum of Oriental Arts to the International Center of the Roerichs on termination of rent-free agreements and eviction of the ICR from the buildings 4 and 7 of the Lopoukhins’ estate).

We have seen once again that today in Russia there is no justice capable of protecting the legitimate interests of a non-governmental organization. We have seen how officials, in our case, the leadership of the Ministry of Culture, seek to take away all property belonging to a non-governmental organization (we mean the Roerichs’ Heritage) and the cultural heritage site (the Lopoukhins’ Estate, restored by the ICR without government financial support).

Without having the full text of the decision of the 9th Arbitration Appeal Court on the complaint of the International Center of the Roerichs in hand, we cannot give a detailed assessment to it. However, proceeding from the process of the court session itself, we can conclude, that the ICR was once again denied the right to be protected: the request for a forensic examination regarding the real technical state of the Lopoukhins’ estate was rejected (the ICR is accused of having allegedly brought the estate to an unsatisfactory state). No long-standing cultural activity of the ICR has been taken into account as the Court has refused to recognize the ICR as a cultural organization. The Court has unsubstantially affirmed that the ICR has allegedly registered 17 commercial organizations in the Lopoukhins’ Manor-place. And much more. All this proves that the authorities has made the liquidation of the ICR their first priority.

The main reason for such decision is that the International Center of the Roerichs and its non-governmental museum named after N.K. Roerich have been successfully working throughout its 25-year history. It has been heeding the behest of its founder, S.N. Roerich, to preserve and popularize the heritage of our great compatriots. Its activity was awarded by state honours of the Presidents of the Russian Federation, numerous letters of thanks of the ministries and departments of Russia, as well as the letters of appreciation of the UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and the Director-General of UNESCO, Ms. Irina Bokova. But destructive policy pursued by the leadership of the Ministry of Culture of the Russian Federation and by V. Medinsky personally in relation to the ICR and its non-governmental
Museum made the authorities to change their attitude towards the ICR. As a result, the actions of the leadership of the State Museum of Oriental Arts go unpunished. On the night of April 28 29th, 2017, the Lopoukhins‘ estate, all the Roerichs’ heritage belonging to the ICR and other property, including personal belongings of the staff, was seized by force. All this happened before the court decision on the ICR eviction from the Lopoukhins’ estate would enter into legal force. At the same time, the officials with the help of law enforcement agencies, supervisory and judicial bodies seek to destroy our non-governmental organization and justify the robbery on the part of the State Museum of Oriental Arts in relation to the ICR.

All this convincingly demonstrates the negative attitude of the authorities towards the Roerichs’ heritage and the Roerichs themselves. Investigating, preserving and popularizing the unique cultural heritage of our outstanding compatriots turned out to be unnecessary to the authorities. That is why everything is being done not only to destroy the International Center of the Roerichs and its non-governmental museum, but also to bury the very heritage of the Roerichs into oblivion. That is why a few days after the capture of the Lopoukhins’ manor, the employees of the State Museum of Oriental Arts tore off the Banner of Peace from the flagpole located in front of the non-governmental museum named after N.K. Roerich. The Banner of Peace is a distinctive flag of the Roerich Pact – the first international treaty for the protection of cultural property. It was the foundation of UNESCO’s legal mechanisms to protect cultural heritage sites. The Banner of Peace was consecrated in Christian churches in 1931 and in 2013. The UN Secretaries General and the Director-General of UNESCO, heads of states and heads of parliaments gratefully received the Banner of Peace from the ICR. It has suddenly become undesirable in Russia.

Just like the Living Ethics, the scientific and philosophical Teaching, revealing the laws of the evolution of Man and the Cosmos, their unity and interrelation. It was the source of inspiration and creativity of the Roerichs. S.N. Roerich donated this great legacy to Russia provided that the non-governmental museum named after N.K. Roerich would be established on its base. Moreover, the museum should be located in the Lopoukhins’ estate. Today the heritage turned out to be unnecessary to the officials. That is why the state refuses to fulfill its obligations, given to S.N. Roerich, that is why there is a hunt for those who have been preserving and popularizing this heritage for more than a quarter of a century. This is the main objective of fighting the ICR.

The International Center of the Roerichs will continue to uphold the will of S.N. Roerich regarding the non-governmental museum named after N.K. Roerich, to assert its legal rights to the Roerichs’ heritage and the Lopoukhins’ estate, as well as the right to maintain its cultural activities within the framework of the legislation and its Charter.

Internationale Pressekonferenz „Tragical destruction in Moscow of one of the largest European museums – the N.K. Roerich Museum“ (engl.)

03.06.2017 – Tallinn war Gastgeber. Am 31. Mai fand um 15 Uhr im Adamson-Erika Museum die INternationale Pressekonferenz „Tragical destruction in Moscow of one of the largest European museums – the N.K. Roerich Museum“ statt.

In Moscow, after 25 year of successful work, the International Centre & Museum of the Roerichs (ICR) has been seized and robbed. For many years, many non-governmental organizations and societies in the European Union, such as from Estonia, Latvia, Bulgaria, Finland, Germany, Austria, and also in countries outside the EU, such as Belarus and Latin America, have cooperated with this international non-governmental organization. In the night from April 28th to 29th, the buildings and all property of the ICR, located close to the Kremlin, had been seized by employees of the State Orient Museum with the support of forced bodies without recognition badges. The whole action happened without presentation of documents, without judicial decision, and is absolutely illegal.

N.K. Roerich – he was founder of International right on the field of preservation of culture, one of the greatest artist of Russia and the whole world, author of around 7,000 paintings. Roerich’s paintings belong to the most valuable lots at international auctions.

The International Centre of the Roerichs created the large N.K. Roerich Museum, being at world’s top level, which possesses the largest collection of paintings of the Roerichs. The collection includes about 900 paintings and drawings, representing an enormous value of art.

Today, all property, financial documents and personal belongings of the organization and its employees are under arrest. For more than 20 days, the team of the organization and the museum are not allowed to their workspace and are deprived of legal protection. The technical service staff of the ICR is not allowed to enter which leads to serious danger of damage to the cultural Roerichs‘ heritage. Governmental bodies do not react on the claim to stop this lawlessness. The help of the international society and the mass media is urgently necessary.

The intruders of the International Centre of the Roerichs, which are the State Museum of Oriental Arts and the Ministry of Culture of the Russian Federation, do not have any legal rights on the artistic values, the property and the documents of the International Centre of the Roerichs. They exclusively act with methods of force and do not want to assert their right at court, because they do not have any documents giving them the possibility to claim ICR’s property.
The international society has tried to find defenders of legality within governmental structures in the Russian Federation and large non-governmental organizations taking care of museum activities. But nobody has been found.
In order to hide their illegal actions, the leadership of the Ministry of Culture of the Russian Federation und its subordinated institutions mispresent events, openly lie to the press und the members of the Russian parliament (Gosduma).

The participants of the Press Conference read out:
Address of Marga Koutsarova, international legal counsel from Bulgaria. In her address, Madame Koutsarova pointed out, that „the destruction of the non-governmental N.K. Roerich Museum has been executed in gross violation of all basic principles of right!… Taking into account the extraordinary heavy character of the destruction of the non-governmental Museum, which is a criminal offence on culture, we completely support the appeal of the International Centre of the Roerichs to create an international working group, which should investigate the accepted destruction of the N.K. Roerich Museum of the ICR, to work out the necessary steps to return the Roerichs‘ heritage and the buildings belonging to the International Centre of the Roerichs. Furthermore, this working group should initiate necessary legal acts to prohibit in future any destruction of a non-governmental museum anywhere in Europe!“ Read the contribution

Address of Dr. Evgenij Shunejko, art expert, member of the Belarus Artist Union, activist of the Belarus Republican Society for Friendship with Foreign Countries: „I personally, as art expert and artist, always support the position that force and lawlessness in no case can serve as an argument in situations of dispute, especially when we are dealing with culture and spirituality. Our history shows us sufficient examples, when cultural heritage was confronted with most cruel measures“.
Read the contribution

In the Press Conference participated:

Elena Alexandrova, chairwoman of the Estonian Roerich Society, chairwoman of the Coordination Council of the European Association for the Support of the Centre&Museum of the Roerichs (Estonia) Read the contribution

Natalya Cherkashina, acting director of the N.K. Roerich Museum, board member of the International Centre of the Roerichs, museologist (Russia) Read the contribution

Halina Schneider, chairwoman of the German Roerich Society, Secretary of the European Association for the Support of the Centre&Museum of the Roerichs (Germany) Read the contribution

Marianna Ozolinya, chairwoman of the Latvian Roerich Society, poet (Latvia) Read the contribution
Andrej Miller, board member of the Estonian Roerich Society (Estonia) Read the contribution

Peeter Vyakhi, composer, board member of the Estonian Composer Union, member of the Estonian Academic Eastern Society (Estonia) See video contribution
Moderator: Dr. phil. David Sveviov, historian, professor at the Estonian Academy of Arts, winner of the European Citizens Prize 2016.

Language of the Press Conference: Russian/Estonian

Tragische Zerstörung eines der größten europäischen nichtstaatlichen Museen im Herzen Moskaus

03.06.2017 – Am 17. Mai 2017, anlässlich einer Fragestunde in der russischen Duma, äußerte der Minister für Kultur der Russischen Föderation, Vladimir Medinskij, die Hoffnung, dass „die kriminelle Geschichte der Einbehaltung der Kunstsammlung des Sowjetischen Roerich-Fonds“ in Kürze zu seinem Ende kommt. Weiter erklärte er, dass der Wert der Sammlung „nach Meinung internationaler Experten mehr als 15 Mrd. Rubel beträgt“. 15 Mrd. Rubel, das sind rund 240 Millionen Euro…

In seinem Auftritt versprach er den Abgeordneten, dass der Nachlass der Roerich-Familie in die schützenden Hände der Russischen Föderation zurückkehren werde. „Glauben Sie mir, die Gemälde der Roerichs, ihr Werk und ihr Nachlass müssen nicht länger leiden,  sondern sie kehren endlich in den Schoß des Staates zurück, dahin, wohin die Roerichs ihn auch verfügt haben,“ sagte Medinskij.

Von was sprach Minister Medinskij? Der Nachlass der Roerichs war doch bereits in Russland, nämlich im nichtstaatlichen Nikolaj-Roerich-Museum der internationalen nichtstaatlichen Gesellschaft „Internationales Roerich-Zentrum“.

Nikolaj Konstantinovitsch Roerich (1874 – 1947) war ein begnadeter russischer Künstler, Gelehrter, Philosophie und Gesellschaftsträger von Weltformat. Er war Initiator des ersten internationalen Abkommens über den Schutz von künstlerischen und wissenschaftlichen Einrichtungen sowie historischer Denkmäler. Der „Roerich-Pakt“ wurde am 15. April 1935 im Weißen Haus zu Washington unterzeichnet und ist bis heute gültiges Dokument für den Schutz des Kulturerbes der gesamten Menschheit. Dieses Abkommen diente der UNESCO im Jahre 1954 als Grundlage für die „Haager Konvention zum Schutz von Kulturgut bei bewaffneten Konflikten“.

Svetoslav Roerich (1904 – 1993), jüngster Sohn von Nikolaj Roerich und Staatsbürger Indiens, übergab im Jahre 1990 seinen Teil des Familienerbes an Russland (damals noch UdSSR). Dies jedoch nur unter zwei Bedingungen:  Erstens ist der Nachlass ausschließlich im nichtstaatlichen Nikolaj-Roerich-Museum unterzubringen, und zweitens müssen im Zentrum von Moskau für dieses Museum die Gebäude des Lopuchin-Anwesens, einem Architekturdenkmal des 17. – 19. Jahrhunderts in Nähe des Kremls, zur Verfügung gestellt werden. Svetoslav Roerich war der Überzeugung, dass das russische Volk seine Werte besser bewahren könne als Kulturbeamte.

Bei Übergabe des Nachlasses erhielt Svetoslav Roerich eine Garantie des Staates und von Präsident Gorbatschow persönlich, dass in Moskau ein solches nichtstaatliches Nikolaj-Roerich-Museum als struktureller Bestandteil einer internationalen nichtstaatlichen Organisation entstehen wird.

Ludmila Shaposhnikova (1926 – 2015), eine bekannte Indologin, wurde zu seiner Treuhänderin mit allen Befugnissen. Seit Beginn der 1990-er Jahre führte sie als Direktorin des Museums umfangreiche Arbeiten zur Restaurierung des historischen Lopuchin-Anwesens und zum Aufbaus eines wunderbaren Museums durch, das bis vor Kurzem noch von Tausenden Besuchern aus aller Welt besucht wurde.  Die Kosten für die Restaurierung der Gebäude des Lopuchin-Anwesens würden heute mehrere Dutzend Millionen Euro verschlingen. Finanziert und umgesetzt wurde das Projekt mit Hilfe von Stiftern und Spenden Tausender Bürger.

Das Roerich-Zentrum und sein Museum mit Sitz in Moskau ist als Kulturorganisation das größte Zentrum zur Erforschung und Verbreitung des künstlerischen, wissenschaftlichen und philosophischen Nachlasses der Roerich-Familie. Mit Hilfe einer breiten Öffentlichkeit in Russland und der ganzen Welt ist es dem Roerich-Zentrum gelungen, das von Svetoslav Roerich übergebene Erbe der Roerichs zu bewahren und zu mehren. Besonders hervorzuheben ist die friedensstiftende Arbeit des Zentrums zur Fortführung von Roerichs Ideen zur Bewahrung der kulturellen Errungenschaften der Menschheit aus dem Roerich-Pakt. Das Internationale Ausstellungsprojekt „Der Roerich-Pakt. Geschichte und Gegenwart“ wurde seit 2012 in mehr als 150 Städten Russland sowie in 17 Ländern der Welt gezeigt. Die Ausstellungen wurden unter Schirmherrschaft der UNESCO und in Kooperation mit vielen internationalen Organisationen durchgeführt. In Russland wurde dieses Projekt als größte nichtstaatliche Initiative im Bereich Kulturschutz anerkannt. Hochachtung wurde dem Ausstellungsprojekt durch UNO-Generalsekretär Ban Ki-Moon und Irina Bokova, Generaldirektorin der UNESCO, gezollt.

Seit seiner Gründung hat das Internationale Roerich-Zentrum aktiv mit dem russischen Ministerium für Kultur und anderen Staatsorganen zusammengearbeitet. Ohne eine derartige enge Kooperation wäre es ja auch undenkbar, Kulturprogramme, Projekte, Wanderausstellungen und Konferenzen durchzuführen, sowie verlegerisch tätig zu sein.

Allerdings ist bereits aus der Geschichte bekannt, dass einzelne Persönlichkeiten, insbesondere Machthaber, einen wesentlichen Einfluss auf den Lauf von Ereignissen haben können. Und so geschah es auch, als im Mai 2012 ein neuer Minister für Kultur ernannt wurde: Vladimir Medinskij. Mit seiner aktiven Beteiligung begann eine großangelegte Kampagne gegen das nichtstaatliche Nikolaj-Roerich-Museum.

Bereits früher unternahm das Staatliche Museum für Orientalistik (auch bekannt als Staatliches Museum des Ostens) Versuche nachzuweisen, dass das Internationale Roerich-Zentrum keinerlei Rechte am von Svetoslav Roerich übergebenen Nachlass der Roerich-Familie habe. Jedoch bestätigten russische Gerichte zweimal, im Jahr 2002 und 2011, dass sich der Nachlass rechtmäßig im nichtstaatlichen Museum befindet.

In den letzten Jahren änderte die Führung des Kulturministeriums unter Ausnutzung seiner administrativen Ressourcen „den Lauf der Geschichte“. Und so wird seit 2013 ein offensichtlich geplanter Maßnahmenkatalog umgesetzt mit dem Ziel, das nichtstaatliche Nikolaj-Roerich-Museum des Internationalen Roerich-Zentrums zu liquidieren.

In seinem Schreiben vom 11.11.2013 an den russischen Präsidenten Putin gab Kulturminister Medinskij unrichtige Informationen über das Internationale Roerich-Zentrum und eine aus fast 300 Bildern bestehende Sammlung Svetoslav Roerichs, die sich im Staatlichen Museum des Ostens befindet. Die Leitung des Internationalen Roerich-Zentrums erklärte wiederholt, dass besagte Sammlung von Svetoslav Roerich an das Roerich-Zentrum übergeben wurde, was in rechtsgültigen Dokumenten festgelegt wurde. Daher war das rechtmäßige Bestreben des Roerich-Zentrums zum Erhalt der Sammlung keinesfalls die Absicht zur Aneignung von Staatseigentum, wie dies der Kulturminister in seinem Schreiben darstellte.

Die Notiz Putins auf Medinskijs Schreiben „Ergreifen Sie die zum Schutz der Staatsinteressen notwendigen Maßnahmen“ spielte ihre Rolle beim Moskauer Amtsgericht als Anweisung, wessen Interessen zu schützen seien. Und so gelang es dem Kulturministerium im Jahre 2014, den Gerichtsbeschluss von 2011 zu kassieren, in welchem dem Internationalen Roerich-Zentrum der Nachlass auf Grundlage des Vermächtnisses von Svetoslav Roerich zugesprochen wurde.

Die Bestrebungen des Kulturministeriums werden vom Internationalen Roerich-Zentrum in einer Erklärung als „Bestrebung zur erneuten Verletzung des dokumentierten Willens von Svetoslav Roerich bezüglich des an Russland übergebenen Nachlasses“ verstanden.

Alexander Stetsenko, Vizepräsident des Internationalen Roerich-Zentrums erklärte: „Jedwede Handlungen in dieser Richtung, egal wer sie durchführt, führt zu nichts Gutem. In solch einem Krieg gibt es keinen Sieger, sondern nur Verlierer. Und diese sind in erster Linie das russische Volk und seine kulturellen Errungenschaften. Es besteht die reale Gefahr, dass im Falle der Aberkennung des Rechts auf diesen Teil des Roerich-Erbes, dieser das gleiche Schicksal erleidet wie der im Jahre 1957 von Jurij Roerich an Russland übergebene erste Teil des Familienerbes, der nach seinem unerwarteten Tod im Jahr 1960 in seiner Wohnung verblieb. Dieser Teil ging unwiederbringlich verloren. Eine Wiederholung dieser Tragödie dürfen wir nicht zulassen.“

Nach dem Tod von Ludmila Shaposhnikova, der Vertrauten von Svetoslav Roerich, stieg der Druck von Seiten der Staatsbediensteten. Ende 2015 wurden die Gebäude des Lopuchin-Anwesens kurzfristig aus dem Eigentum der Stadt Moskau in Staatseigentum übergeben. Anschließend wurde die operative Leitung des Anwesens an das Staatliche Museum des Ostens übertragen. Hierbei verblieben das Internationale Roerich-Zentrum und sein nichtstaatliches Museum in diesen Gebäuden zur bis 2024 vertraglich vereinbarten kostenfreien Miete.

Von Ende 2015 bis 2017 wurden das Internationale Roerich-Zentrum und sein Museum in mehr als 20 außerplanmäßigen Kontrollen durch die verschiedensten staatlichen Instanzen überprüft. Diese Überprüfungen wurden unter teilweise absurden Beschuldigungen angeordnet, die bis hin zum Verdacht auf Extremismus führten. Verstöße hinsichtlich der Aufbewahrung des Nachlasses oder der Tätigkeiten des Internationalen Roerich-Zentrums und seines Museums konnten von niemandem vermeldet werden. Ganz im Gegenteil: Das hohe Niveau der musealen Arbeit und der Bewahrung der Exponate wurde sogar bescheinigt.

Wurden im Zusammenhang mit den Handlungen des Kulturministeriums im Jahr 2015 „nur“ zwei Gerichtsprozesse gegen das Internationale Roerich-Zentrum geführt, so war das Roerich-Zentrum im Jahr 2016 bereits an 13 (!) Gerichtsprozessen beteiligt. Die Führung des Kulturministeriums und des Staatlichen Museums des Ostens starteten eine offene Medienkampagne zur Zerstörung des guten Rufes des Internationalen Roerich-Zentrums. Die zentralen Programme des russischen Fernsehens gaben der Führung des Ministeriums eine Plattform zur Verbreitung nicht wahrheitsgemäßer Angaben zum Schaden des Internationalen Roerich-Zentrums. Die Organisation hatte nur geringe Möglichkeiten, sich zu verteidigen. Praktisch alle Zugänge zu den zentralen Medien waren verwehrt. Eine enorme Anzahl von Briefen und Eingaben an die verschiedensten staatlichen Einrichtungen, geschrieben von Bürgern und öffentlichen Organisationen Russlands und anderer Länder fanden kein Echo, da sie zur Beantwortung weitergeleitet wurden – an das Ministerium für Kultur. Und von dort wurde förmlich geantwortet und auf ein Gerichtsurteil von 2014 verwiesen, welches der nichtstaatlichen Organisation Roerich-Zentrum das Recht auf den Nachlass der Roerich-Familie und die Rechtsnachfolge des sowjetischen Roerich-Fonds abspricht.

Natürlich waren die offen im nichtstaatlichen Nikolaj-Roerich-Museum gezeigte wertvolle Bildersammlung, die Familienarchive und die wunderschön restaurierten Gebäude eines Architekturdenkmals im Zentrum von Moskau, weniger als 1 Kilometer vom Kreml entfernt, von größtem Interesse. „Das Kulturministerium hatte keine rechtliche Handhabe für die Zerschlagung des nichtstaatlichen Museums,“ so Alexander Stetsenko, „und musste daher wohl den Weg grober Methoden, des Betrugs und der Überschreitung dienstlicher Kompetenzen gehen.“

Und so wurden am 7. März, am Vorabend des Internationalen Weltfrauentages, und dem darauffolgenden Tag im nichtstaatlichen Nikolaj-Roerich-Museum Hausdurchsuchungen unter Beteiligung von polizeilichen Spezialeinsatzkräften durchgeführt. Die Repräsentanten von Kulturministerium und Staatlichem Museum des Ostens beteiligten sich aktiv am gewaltsamen Eindringen in das Zentrum und Museum und der Beschlagnahme von Eigentum. Im Laufe dieses „Sondereinsatzes“ wurden die Mitarbeiter des Roerich-Zentrums durchsucht, verhört und für einen Tag von der Außenwelt isoliert. Die Videoüberwachung wurde deaktiviert, die Alarmanlagen wurden ausgeschaltet. Ungestört konnten so Gemälde der Roerichs und weitere Kunstgegenstände „beschlagnahmt“ werden, die dem Museum in den Jahren 1990 bis 2013 gestiftet wurden. Es wurden mehr als 200 Kunstgegenstände beschlagnahmt und in das Staatliche Museum des Ostens verbracht. Der Prozess der „Beschlagnahme“ selbst erfolgt unter Missachtung jeglicher Rechtsnormen: ohne die Anwesenheit von Museumsmitarbeitern und ohne für den Transport von Gemälden geeigneter Verpackungsmittel wurden die Gemälde in für derartige Transport nicht geeignete Fahrzeuge verladen. Mit den Kunstgegenständen wurden sämtliche Schenkungsdokumente und deren Kopie beschlagnahmt. Das Museum wurde faktisch beraubt.

Zum Hintergrund: Die Aktion wurde durchgeführt im Zuge von Ermittlungen gegen die Geschäftsführung der Master-Bank, der im Jahr 2013 die Lizenz entzogen wurde. Einer der Mäzene des Nikolaj-Roerich-Museums war Boris Bulotschnik, einer der Mitgründer der Master-Bank. Bulotschnik unterstützte viele Kultureinrichtungen und Fonds in Russland. Mit eigenen Finanzmitteln (nichts anderes ist bewiesen) erwarb Bulotschnik Gemälde der Roerichs auf Auktionen im Ausland und brachte sie so, als Schenkung an ein nichtstaatliches Museum in Moskau, nach Russland zurück. Er leistete einen großen Beitrag zur Restaurierung der Gebäude des Lopuchin-Anwesens und unterstützte viele Kulturprogramme des Zentrums und Museums.  

Die russische Öffentlichkeit sieht die Handlungen der Vertreter des Kulturministeriums und des Museums des Ostens am 7. Und 8. März als Willkür, die die Staatsmacht in aller Öffentlichkeit diskreditiert. Weiterhin wird die Anwendung von Gewalt gegen das Museum als schwere Schädigung des Rufs Russlands empfunden.

Das Museum und seine Mitarbeiter unterliegen keiner Strafverfolgung, sie haben keinerlei Bezug zu irgendwelchen finanziellen Machenschaften. Zu keiner Zeit gab es die Verweigerung der Zusammenarbeit mit Rechtsschutzorganen oder Prüfbehörden. Man hätte derartige brutale und grobe Handlungen vermeiden können.

Alle Eingaben von Bürgern und Museumsmitarbeitern wurden von Kontrollorganen und der Staatsführung mit Stille beantwortet. Warum sollte man sich auch aufregen? Die Schaffung eines staatlichen Roerich-Museums in dem grandiosen Anwesen war bereits beschlossene Sache. Dieser Beschluss wurde kurzfristig im Februar 2016 im Kulturministerium gefasst. Bleibt nur noch die Aufgabe, die Gebäude von einer bekannten nichtstaatlichen Organisation zu säubern, in deren Händen das wertvolle Roerich-Erbe ist.

Am 20. März 2017 entschied das Moskauer Schiedsgericht, nach mehrmonatigen Verhandlungen, einer Klage des Staatlichen Museums des Ostens stattzugeben und den Vertrag über die kostenfreie Vermietung des Lopuchin-Anwesens an das Internationale Roerich-Zentrum aufzulösen und eine Räumung zuzulassen. Sämtliche Nachweise und Dokumente, die das Roerich-Zentrum zu seiner Verteidigung eingereicht hatte, wurden nicht berücksichtigt. Die Beauftragung eines unabhängigen Gutachtens zum Zustand der vom nichtstaatlichen Museum genutzten Gebäude wurde abgelehnt.

Nach allgemeiner Rechtspraxis tritt ein Gerichtsurteil erst in Kraft, nachdem eine vom Gericht festgelegte Widerspruchsfrist abgelaufen ist. Ein Gerichtsentscheid wird erst dann rechtsgültig, wenn ein Berufungsverfahren abgeschlossen ist. Im vorliegenden Fall endete die Berufungsfrist am 7. Mai, eingereicht wurde die Berufung durch das Roerich-Zentrum am 5. Mai 2017.

Bis zum Berufungsurteil wird noch einige Zeit vergehen. Aber die hatte man wohl im Staatlichen Museum des Ostens nicht. Ohne Warten auf die Rechtsgültigkeit des Gerichtsentscheides versuchte die Museumsleitung eine gewaltsame Aneignung der Gebäude. Am Freitag, den 28. April 2017, erfolgte um 21:30 Uhr in Moskau die Besitznahme des Lopuchin-Anwesens. Die Besetzung des Gebäudes erfolgte durch eine bewaffnete Personengruppe unter Leitung von Leuten in Polizeiuniform. Dokumente, die die Rechtmäßigkeit ihres Tuns rechtfertigten, wurden nicht gezeigt. Leiter der gesamten Aktion war der Generaldirektor des Museums des Ostens, Alexander Sedov.

Dieses Geschehnis hat sich keine nichtstaatliche Organisation ausgedacht. Zeuge dieses Überfalls auf das nichtstaatliche Museum war Ivan Sasurskij, Mitglied des Rates des Präsidenten der Russischen Föderation für Menschenrechte. Auch er wurde nach dem Konzert des bekannten bulgarischen Pianisten Atanas Kurtev festgehalten. Die Ereignisse im Roerich-Zentrum zur Besitznahme des Lopuchin-Anwesens erregte auch die Aufmerksamkeit des Präsidentenberaters für Menschenrechte, Mikhail Fedotov. Fedotov und ein weiteres Mitglied des Rates für Menschenrechte, Andrej Babushkin, kamen zum Internationalen Roerich-Zentrum, wurden jedoch erst nach einer Stunde von der Security des Staatlichen Museums des Ostens auf das Gelände des Lopuchin-Anwesens gelassen.

Offensichtlich passte die Aufmerksamkeit des Beraters des Präsidenten der Russischen Föderation nicht in die Pläne der Führung des Museums des Ostens. Und so wurde am 29. April eine Untersuchungsgruppe eingeschaltet, die sich mit der Aufklärung des Falles „Master-Bank“ befasst. Gegen 19 Uhr fuhren Autos auf das Gelände des Anwesens. In ihnen saßen neben den Ermittlern auch Einsatzkräfte der OMON und Mitarbeiter des Staatlichen Museums des Ostens. Es begann eine Durchsuchung ohne Vorlage der für derartige Aktionen notwendigen Dokumente. Da man kurz vor den Maifeiertagen stand, hatte man sich offensichtlich in Eile vorbereitet. Der Leitung des Internationalen Roerich-Zentrums wurde die Anwesenheit während der Durchsuchung verwehrt. Die Beschlagnahme von Buchhaltungsdokumenten und Zeichnungen der Roerichs wurde in Abwesenheit der zuständigen Buchhalter und verantwortlichen Archivare des Roerich-Nachlasses durchgeführt. Die Untersuchungsgruppe nahm der Museumsleitung die Schlüssel vom Depot und den Sälen des Museums weg und übergab sie der Leitung des Museums des Ostens. Im Protokoll wurde vermerkt, dass das Lopuchin-Anwesen zur verantwortlichen Verwahrung an den Direktor des Staatlichen Museums des Ostens, Herrn Sedov, mitsamt dem kompletten Eigentum des Internationalen Roerich-Zentrums und den darin befindlichen persönlichen Gegenstände der Mitarbeiter übergeben wird. Hierbei wurden weder ein Übergabeprotokoll noch eine Aufstellung des übertragenen Eigentums angefertigt.

All dies zeigt das wahre Ziel der „Untersuchungsmaßnahme“: Gewähr des Zugriffs auf den Nachlass der Roerichs durch die Beamten des Staatlichen Museums des Ostens, der in keinem Strafverfahren auftauchen darf.

Und so erfolgte, unter dem Deckmantel von Ermittlungen zum Bankrott der Master-Bank, der Überfall auf das Lopuchin-Anwesen und den dortigen Roerich-Nachlass, der dem Internationalen Roerich-Zentrum gehört.

Der Zeitpunkt der bevorstehenden Maifeiertage wurde offensichtlich nicht zufällig ausgewählt. Immerhin war es so mehr als 10 Tage unmöglich, staatliche Organe auf die gesetzeswidrige Handlung aufmerksam machen zu können. Während dieser Zeit, in der Regel abends oder nachts, hatten die verantwortlichen Personen des Staatlichen Museum  des Ostens, der Berater des Ministers für Kultur der Russischen Föderation sowie ein bei allen Aktionen anwesender Vertreter aus den USA uneingeschränkten Zugang zu den Gebäuden des Museums, zum Archiv und den Diensträumen des Internationalen Roerich-Zentrums. Nach Zeugenaussagen von Mitarbeitern des Museums, die rund um die Uhr am Lopuchin-Anwesen wachen, wurde vom Territorium des Anwesens Eigentum der Organisation in Fahrzeugen weggebracht, Personen trugen in Taschen und Rucksäcken Sachen heraus. Es steht zu befürchten, dass es zu unkontrolliertem Verschwinden von Archivdokumenten und zum Austausch von Originalen der Gemälde kommt. Mitarbeiter des Roerich-Museums haben bereits öffentlich erklärt: „Wir sind äußerst beunruhigt und besorgt, dass im nichtstaatlichen Nikolaj-Roerich-Museum ohne jegliche Rechtsgrundlagen und unter völliger Duldung durch die Rechtsschutzorgane unbefugte Personen aktiv sind, die nach eigenem Gutdünken nicht nur über die musealen Kostbarkeiten und Archive unserer Organisation verfügen, sondern auch über die persönlichen Gegenstände der Museumsmitarbeiter. Wir schließen nicht aus, dass es in Kürze zu Verlusten, Bilder- und Urkundenfälschung kommen kann.“

Welches russische Museum würde derart illegale Aktionen wagen, hätte es nicht die Unterstützung übergeordneter staatlicher Strukturen? Das Staatliche Museum des Ostens ist dem Ministerium für Kultur direkt unterstellt…

In der Nacht des 1. Mai, gegen 3 Uhr früh, holten Mitarbeiter des Staatlichen Museums des Ostens das „Banner des Friedens“ ein. Dies ist das Markierungszeichen des Roerich-Paktes, des ersten internationalen Kulturschutzabkommens. Soviel zur Würdigung der humanistischen Ideen Nikolaj Roerichs, der der Welt den Ausweg aus zahllosen Kriegen und bewaffneten Konflikten aufzeigte – mit „Frieden durch Kultur“.

Es ist unzulässig, vor der Entscheidung des Berufungsgerichts den Mietvertrag für ungültig zu erklären und das Internationale Roerich-Zentrum auf die Straße zu setzen. Trotzdem wird den Mitarbeitern und der Leitung des Museums der Zutritt zum Museum verwehrt, ihnen wird die Möglichkeit zur Arbeit verwehrt. Dem Roerich-Zentrum wurde das gesamte Eigentum ohne Gerichtsentscheid weggenommen, den Mitarbeitern ihre persönlichen Gegenstände. Die Handlungen an den Tagen des Überfalls hat die Öffentlichkeit auf Video festgehalten, es gibt Beweise und Augenzeugen.

Seit der gewaltsamen Einnahme des Lopuchin-Anwesens lassen die Sicherheitsleute des Staatlichen Museums des Ostens selbst die Techniker des Roerich-Zentrums, die für die Unversehrtheit der Exponate in den Sälen des Museums und die Gewährleistung der Sicherheit im Manuskriptarchiv und der Privatbibliothek der Roerichs zuständig sind, nicht in die Räumlichkeiten. Mittlerweile gibt es bereits Hinweise auf eine erhöhte Feuchtigkeit und Pilzbildung in den Museumslagern aufgrund der Fahrlässigkeit derjenigen, die das Gebäude an sich gebracht haben. Auf der Website des Internationalen Roerich-Zentrums sind die gesamte Chronologie der Ereignisse sowie die bislang bekannten Fakten über Stromausfall und Ausfall der Klimatisierung im Manuskriptarchiv der Roerich-Familie dokumentiert.

Es gibt also allen Anlass zur Sorge, dass dem Kulturnachlass der Roerichs Schaden zugefügt wird, einem Nachlass nicht nur nationaler, sondern weltweiter Bedeutung. Und wie auf Bestellung informieren die staatlichen Medien die Bevölkerung darüber, dass die Gebäude auf Weisung des Gerichts für die Errichtung des Staatlichen Roerich-Museums an das Staatliche Museum des Ostens übergeben wurden. Mit keinem Wort werden die krassen Verletzungen der Verfügung Svetoslav Roerichs als Stifter des Nachlasses oder die Gesetzesverletzungen durch die Staatsdiener erwähnt.

Unabhängige Juristen haben bereits jetzt schon vielfältige Verletzungen der russischen Gesetze festgestellt:

  • Überschreitung dienstlicher Kompetenzen durch die Leitung des Staatlichen Museums des Ostens und die Beamten des Ministeriums für Kultur der Russischen Föderation;
  • Überschreitung der dienstlichen Kompetenzen der Untersuchungsbehörde. Die Übertragung zur verantwortlichen Verwahrung gilt in einer Strafangelegenheit nur für Beweismittel. Weder das Lopuchin-Anwesen, noch die von Svetoslav Roerich an das Roerich-Zentrum übergebene Kollektion und das Archiv der Roerich-Familie, und schon gar nicht die persönlichen Gegenstände der Mitarbeiter des Museums und das Eigentum der Organisation sind Beweismittel im Untersuchungsfall der Master-Bank;
  • Das Staatliche Museum des Ostens ist kein rechtmäßiger Besitzer, dem die Untersuchungsbehörde das Anwesen samt Eigentum hätte in verantwortliche Verwahrung übergeben dürfen. Rechtmäßiger Besitzer ist nach wie vor das Internationale Roerich-Zentrum.

Nach Worten der Leitung des Internationalen Roerich-Zentrums ist die Besitznahme des nichtstaatlichen Museums in Moskau der Höhepunkt eines jahrelangen juristischen Dramas. Seine Gründe liegen in dem fortwährenden Unwillen des Ministeriums für Kultur der Russischen Föderation, den rechtmäßigen Willen des Erben und die Zusagen Michail Gorbatschows an Svetoslav Roerich über die Bedingungen zur Übergabe des Nachlasses der Roerich-Familie an die UdSSR und nachfolgend an die Russische Föderation zu erfüllen.

Tausendfache Eingaben von Bürgern an die verschiedenen Staatsorgane wie Staatsanwaltschaft, Innenministerium, Präsidialamt, Fraktionsvorsitzende der parlamentarischen Partien und dergleichen blieben entweder unbeantwortet oder wurden wie vorgedruckt beantwortet.

Die Einzigen, die sich zum Schutz des Museums erhoben und ihre Position bekundeten, waren Tausende rechtschaffener Bürger eines modernen Russlands sowie Menschen aus dem nahen und fernen Ausland. Und so kamen Immerhin mehr als 240.000 Unterschriften zum Schutz des Museums in einer Petition. Aber nicht ein einziges staatliches Organ möchte sich einmischen und ein Museum schützen. Recht, Ehre und Würde – alles in den Boden gestampft!

Es bleibt zu hoffen, dass der Aufruf aus dem Statement des Internationalen Roerich-Zentrums zur gewaltsamen Besitznahme der Gebäude und des Eigentums der Organisation am 28. – 29. April 2017 nicht im Rest der Welt ungehört bleibt:

„Das Internationale Roerich-Zentrum ruft die internationale Gesellschaft, die UNO, die UNESCO und alle, denen das großartige kulturelle Erbe der Roerichs, (…) nicht gleichgültig ist, dazu auf, eine internationale nichtstaatliche Kommission zu bilden, die diese strafbare Handlung aufklärt, die verletzten staatlichen Verpflichtungen gegenüber Svetoslav Roerich sowie die Rechte des Internationalen Roerich-Zentrums auf das ihm von Svetoslav Roerich übergebene Erbe wiederherstellt.“

STELLUNGNAHME des Internationalen Roerich-Zentrums (engl.) zu den Ereignissen am 28./29.04.2017

02.05.2017 – Statement of the International Centre of the Roerichs concerning the armed seizure of the Lopoukhins estate carried out by the State Museum of Oriental Art on 28 – 29 April 2017 with the support from law enforcement agencies aimed at the annihilation of the non-governmental Museum named after Nicholas Roerich and the seizure of the Roerichs heritage, belonging to the International Centre of the Roerichs

A short chronicle of events

Around 9 p.m. on 28 April 2017 [Friday] the Director General of the State Museum of Oriental Art (SMOA), Alexander Sedov and his colleagues, accompanied by a specialized unit with no insignia that would allow their identification, made an attempt to seize the non-governmental Museum named after Nicholas Roerich of the International Centre of the Roerichs and other buildings of the Lopoukhins estate, in which the ICR has been lawfully based since the beginning of the 1990’s, as well as to seize the preserved in the Museum Roerichs heritage. The above said specialized unit with no insignia neutralized and dismissed the Museum security guarding the Lopukhins estate territory, while the Director of SMOA Sedov could present no final court decision that has entered into force since he had decided not to wait for an appellate decision of the Arbitration court on the case of termination of the agreement for free use by the ICR of the Lopukhins estate and the eviction of the ICR therefrom. At that time the concert of the famous Bulgarian musician, Mr. Atanas Kurtev, had just ended and he found himself a witness of the attempted seizure of the non-governmental Museum.

Thanks to the intervention of the local Moscow police and a called by the International Centre of the Roerichs unit of security we managed to prevent the seizure. The SMOA personnel were made to leave the Museum premises, together with the accompanying them persons with no insignia that would indicate their belonging to one of the units of the special law enforcement agencies. The museum was placed under seal and was given to the responsibility of safeguards.

Nevertheless the mentioned above persons without insignia that acted in the interests of SMOA, had already blocked the entrances and exits to all buildings belonging to the Lopukhins estate, as they had placed there their own guards even before the Museum premises were emptied and the buildings placed under safeguarding. By doing so they deprived the ICR personnel access to their working places.

The Director General of the SMOA motivated his actions by saying that he is trying to execute a court decision (that has allegedly entered into force and is final) and to compel the ICR to leave the Lopukhins estate, which has been given to the SMOA in operative management. The ICR management presented documents, which prove our organization’s right to a free use of the estate buildings. Also the ICR management reminded that the court decision, which obliges us to leave the premises and the full text of which is dated 7 April 2017, is not yet final, since the ICR is going to appeal it in the Court of Appeal in accordance with the procedure established by law. The ICR and the SMOA filed reports with the local police on what had happened including motivations for their actions and a request to conduct an inspection.

Representatives of the police convinced us that until completion of the review of the filed reports and in order to ensure the safety of the possession, it would be necessary to place under seal all entrance doors to all buildings belonging to the estate, and that it would be necessary for all people to leave the territory on which would stay only four guards from both ICR and SMOA and an armed unit of the local police, which would ensure that public order is maintained.

Mr. Ivan Zasurskiy, member of the Russian Federation Presidential Council for Civil Society and Human Rights found himself an involuntary witness of the raiding of the non-governmental museum by the State Museum of Oriental Arts, because he had not yet left the building after the Bulgarian Atanas Kurtev’s concert. The events in the ICR aiming at the seizure of the Lopukhins estate and the Roerich heritage also drew the attention of Mr. Mikhail Fedotov, Adviser to the President of the Russian Federation for Human Rights. On 29 April Mr. Fedotov together with Mr. Andrei Babushkin, member of the Russian Federation Presidential Council for Civil Society and Human Rights, came to the ICR, but the SMOA security let them enter the estate territory only after one hour. After having listened to the representatives of the ICR, the SMOA and Mr. Kirill Rybak, the Advisor of the Minister of Culture, Mr. Fedotov left the territory of the Lopukhins estate.

Apparently that kind of turn of events was not included in the SMOA plan, and it relied again on the investigation team taking part in the inquest of the Master Bank case. Around 7 p.m. on 29 April, cars with representatives of the said investigation team, riot police (OMON) and SMOA entered the estate territory. They commenced a search, the necessity of which was motivated with untenable circumstances that do not correspond to facts. This in turn indicates that the action was planned in haste and was formal by nature. The Vice President of International centre of the Roerichs, Mr. Alexander Stetsenko, was not permitted to be present at the search. Seizure of the accounting documentation and drawings of the Roerichs was carried out in the absence of the representatives of the ICR accounting department and responsible curators of the heritage. The investigation team took away from the ICR the keys to the Museum depositary and the Museum halls and handed them over to the SMOA. In the protocol they noted that the Lopukhins estate is being placed under the custody of the Director General of SMOA, Mr. Sedov, together with all property of the ICR and the personal belongings of the ICR personnel. Neither Act of transfer, nor any specification of the transferred property was made. All these facts attest to the real goal of the “investigation” – namely to remove all obstacles, hindering the SMOA from accessing the heritage belonging to ICR. After all, these obstacles were so unexpectedly imposed by the local police and that was not included in the plans of those who organized the seizure. So, the seizure of the Lopukhins estate and the Roerich heritage which belongs to the International Centre of the Roerichs and which is located in the estate was carried out under cover of criminal investigations on the bankruptcy of the Master Bank.

In conclusion of this short chronicle of events it should be mentioned that in the night of 1 May, around 3 a.m. on the territory of the estate the representatives of the SMOA took down the Banner of Peace – the distinctive flag of the Roerich Pact, which is the first international treaty on the protection of cultural property in both peaceful times and at war. It is obvious that for the raiders, who under the cover of darkness broke in to the non-governmental Museum named after Nicholas Roerich of the ICR, the Banner became a direful reminder of their unlawful acts against the Museum, which bears the name of our great compatriot, who showed to the world the way out of the endless string of wars and armed conflicts – the way of Peace through Culture.

Thus the seizure of the Roerichs heritage by way of raid was accomplished, and let us remind that it started with the letter of the Minister of Culture, Mr. Vladimir Medinskiy to the President of the Russian Federation, Mr. Vladimir Putin in 2013 (in the letter the minister deceived the President as regards the true will of Svetoslav Roerich concerning the heritage that he donated to Russia); thus was also completed the seizure of the Lopukhins estate, which started in 2015 when the estate was transferred to the SMOA operative management. The Roerich heritage, which was transferred to Russia by Svetoslav Roerich, a citizen of India, for the purpose of creating in Moscow in the Lopukhins estate the non-governmental Museum named after Nicholas Roerich, is now illegally seized by the SMOA, which according to the will of the owner of the heritage had no right whatsoever to it. The guarantee, which the state gave to Svetoslav Roerich about the safe development of the non-governmental Museum in the Lopukhins estate, was violated. All these attest to a forced termination of the functioning of the International non-governmental organization the International Centre of the Roerichs and its non-governmental Museum, established by Svetoslav Roerich, without fair trial and without the right of defence. The further activity of the ICR to promote Nicholas Roerich’s peacemaking ideas that have won the acknowledgement of the leadership of the country and of the UN and UNESCO are under threat.

Thus the Russian Federation, represented by the Minister of Culture and with the support of the law enforcement agencies, in grave violation of Russian and international law, de facto liquidated the non-governmental Museum denying us the right to defence. In an attempt to excuse the elimination of the NGO, the management of the Ministry of Culture, of the State Museum of Oriental Arts and of the investigative body of the Russian Federation claim, that thereby they are protecting the Roerich heritage against a possible injury caused to it by the International Centre of the Roerichs. With full responsibility the ICR declares that suchlike statements are untrue and have no foundation whatsoever. We assume that they pursue but one goal – to excuse the Russian civil servants’ long-term crimes against the Roerich heritage, which was transferred to Russia by Svetoslav Roerich, as well as against the non-governmental organization created for its safekeeping and promotion on the initiative of Svetoslav Roerich, a great figure in the world culture and citizen of India.

The Roerichs gave the world the Roerich Pact, which laid the foundation of the modern legal system for the protection of the world cultural heritage and the functioning of UNESCO. The ICR appeals to the Russian and international public, to the UN, UNESCO and everyone, who is not indifferent to the destiny of the great cultural heritage of the Roerichs, to establish an international public commission in order to investigate this crime, to revive the violated guarantees of the state to Svetoslav Roerich as well as to restore the rights of the International Centre of the Roerichs to the heritage, donated to it by Svetoslav Roerich.

Offener Brief an den Internationalen Museumsrat ICOM

05.04.2017 – Offener Brief an ICOM Russland
von der Belegschaft des nichtstaatlichen Nikolaj-Roerich-Museums
des Internationalen Roerich-Zentrums,
Kollektivmitglied des ICOM seit 2007

Verehrte Kollegen!
Am 7. und 8. März wurde ein beispielloser Schlag gegen das unabhängige nichtstaatliche Nikolaj-Roerich-Museum des Internationalen Roerich-Zentrums geführt. Durchgeführt wurde diese Aktion unter aktiver Beteiligung von Vertretern des Ministeriums für Kultur der Russischen Föderation und des Staatlichen Museums für Orientalische Kunst unter dem Deckmantel von Durchsuchungsmaßnahmen durch Strafverfolgungsbehörden. Unterstützt wurde die Aktion von bewaffnete Spezialeinsatzkräfte.
Erstmals in der Geschichte unseres Landes widerfuhr einer Kultureinrichtung eine derart deutliche Gewalt.
Dieser öffentliche Akt von Gewalt gegenüber einem unabhängigen Kulturzentrum vor den Augen des gesamten Landes wurde zur Apotheose einer Politik der Ungeduld des Ministeriums für Kultur der Russischen Föderation mit nichtstaatlichen Museen. Diese Politik ist bereits seit vier Jahren offen ausgerichtet auf die Vernichtung des größten nichtstaatlichen Museums Russland, des Nikolaj-Roerich-Museums der Internationalen Roerich-Zentrums.
Am Morgen des 7. März 2017 drangen mehr als 50 Personen, darunter maskierte OMON-Kräfte, in das Museumsgebäude ein und lähmten für 18 Stunden die gesamte Arbeit der Museumsmitarbeiter. Sie beschlagnahmten mehr als 200 Bilder und Zeichnungen der Roerichs aus Ausstellungsräumen und Depots und transportierten sie ab. Genauso verfuhr man mit Originalen und Kopien von Dokumenten aus der Abteilung für Museumsbestand und weiteren Bereichen des Roerich-Zentrums. Diese Handlungen wurden, so wurde uns anschließend mitgeteilt, angeblich im Rahmen von Untersuchungen zur Master-Bank während der Jahre 2010 und 2013 durchgeführt, dessen Besitzer ein ehemaliger Mäzen des nichtstaatlichen Nikolaj-Roerich-Museums war. Geleitet wurde die Aktion der Untersuchungsorgane allerdings faktisch durch den Berater des Ministers für Kultur, K.E. Rybak, und den Stellvertretenden Generaldirektor des Staatlichen Museums für Orientalische Kunst, T.K. Mkrtychev. Ohne auch nur 15 Minuten auf die Ankunft der Museumsleitung und des Anwaltes des Roerich-Zentrums zu warten veranlasste Herr Mrktychev die gewaltsame Öffnung der Museumstüren durch die Spezialeinheit mit den Worten: „Sie haben keinen historischen Wert“. Die Untersuchungsorgane hatten noch nicht einmal eine offizielle Aufstellung der Museumsgegenstände, die im Zusammenhang mit dem Fall Master-Bank standen. Dies hat der Stellvertretende Minister für Kultur, V.V. Aristarchov, vor der russischen Presse offen zugegeben. Der Berater des Kulturministers, Herr Rybak, legte, nachdem er die Schenkungsurkunden im Zuge der Untersuchung im Museum beschlagnahmt hatte, eigenständig fest, welche Bilder zu beschlagnahmen seien und welche verbleiben könnten. Er argumentierte: „Dies brauchen wir und jenes brauchen wir nicht“. Er gab gar den Vertretern Untersuchungsorgane die Anweisungen, welche Archivdokumente (aus den 90-er Jahren) zu beschlagnahmen seien, obwohl diese keinerlei Bezug zum Verfahren über den Bankrott der Master-Bank (2010-2013) haben. All dies kann bezeugen, dass die Beschlagnahme der Kulturschätze und Archivdokumente gerade im Interesse der von der momentanen Führung des Ministeriums für Kultur der Russischen Föderation verfolgten Politik der Vernichtung eines nichtstaatlichen Museums ist. Die fast 200 unschätzbar wertvollen Bilder und Zeichnungen von Svetoslav und Nikolaj Roerich, die im unabhängigen nichtstaatlichen Museum beschlagnahmt wurden, wurden im Schutz der Dunkelheit in das Staatliche Museum für Orientalische Kunst verbracht.
All dieses Ungeheuerliche geschah vor den Augen der Mitarbeiter des Roerich-Zentrums, die, ohne ein Verbrechen begangen zu haben, beschuldigt oder verdächtig zu sein, fast einen ganzen Tag praktisch unter Arrest standen und denen das Recht genommen war, sich frei zu bewegen und das Museumsgelände zu verlassen. Menschen, die bei der Schaffung und dem Betrieb des nichtstaatlichen Roerich-Museums sowie für die Kultur Russlands einen großen Beitrag geleistet haben, mussten hilflos mitansehen, wie der Berater des Ministers für Kultur der Russischen Föderation und der stellvertretende Direktor des Museums für Orientalische Kunst unter offener und gewissenloser Missachtung rechtlicher und ethischer Normen und unter Verletzung aller Museumsregeln, unterstützt durch Sicherheitskreise, ungestraft und zynisch Gegenstände aus der Sammlung eines nichtstaatlichen Museum in ein staatliches Museum verbringen.
Dieser bewaffnete Raub ist der Höhepunkt rechtsverletzender Handlungen, die in den vergangenen vier Jahren von der Führung des Ministeriums für Kultur der Russischen Föderation und des Staatlichen Museums für Orientalische Kunst gegen das nichtstaatliche Roerich-Museum des Internationalen Roerich-Zentrums ausgeführt werden. Die Vertreter der oben genannten staatlichen Strukturen tun alles dafür, die Tätigkeit des Museums und den guten Namen seiner Mitarbeiter zu diskreditieren und attackieren, den dem Museum gehörenden Nachlass zu beschlagnahmen und aus dem Lopukhin-Anwesen im Herzen von Moskau zu vertreiben. Einem Anwesen, das ausschließlich mit eigenen Kräften und Mitteln des Roerich-Zentrums restauriert wurde, ohne jedwede finanzielle Unterstützung durch den Staat. Besonders empörend ist, dass die Führung des Ministeriums für Kultur der Russischen Föderation ein ihm unterstelltes staatliches Museum, das Staatliche Museum für Orientalische Kunst, als Werkzeug zur Entrechtung und Vernichtung des Nikolaj-Roerich-Museums benutzen, des größten nichtstaatlichen Museums Russlands und Zentrum unabhängiger Kultur im Land.
Mehrfach haben die Mitarbeiter des nichtstaatlichen Roerich-Museums die Leitung und die Mitarbeiter des ICOM Russland um Hilfe und Schutz gebeten. Mehrfach haben wir die Museumsgemeinschaft auf die gesetzwidrigen Handlungen des Ministeriums für Kultur der Russischen Föderation und des Museums für Orientalische Kunst gegen das größte nichtstaatliche Museum Russland hingewiesen. Als Antwort auf alle unsere Aufrufe zur Unterstützung erhielten wir gleichgültiges Schweigen. ICOM Russland hat in keiner Weise auf die Appelle ihres Kollektivmitglieds reagiert. Es wurde noch nicht einmal der Versuch gemacht, sich mit dieser bestürzenden Situation auseinanderzusetzen.
Fast einen Monat nach dem tragischen 7. März erfolgte die bewaffnete Inbesitznahme des Museums. Und ICOM Russland bewahrt nach wie vor sein Schweigen. Im Roerich-Museum verblieb eine verstümmelte Ausstellung, in den Herzen seiner Mitarbeiter unbeschreiblicher Schmerz. Schmerz durch Demütigung, durch psychische und physische Gewalt, die wir am 7. Und 8. März erdulden mussten. Schmerz durch den himmelschreienden Zynismus, mit dem die Führung des Ministeriums für Kultur der Russischen Föderation und des Staatlichen Museums für Orientalische Kunst ein nichtstaatliches Museum zerstört. Schmerz durch die völlige Gleichgültigkeit des ICOM Russland gegenüber der Verhöhnung eines russischen nichtstaatlichen Museums.
Sehr geehrte Kollegen der Führung des ICOM Russland! Mit Ihrer schweigenden Zustimmung geschieht die ungerechtfertigte und gesetzeswidrige Vernichtung des größten nichtstaatlichen Museums Russlands. Eines Museums, das sich würdevoll um den Erhalt unschätzbar wertvollen nationalen Guts kümmert und auch unter unsagbar schwierigen Umständen seine Museumsarbeit aktiv fortsetzt. Ludmila Shaposhnikova, die verstorbene Generaldirektorin des Museums, erhielt für ihren großartigen Beitrag zur Museumskunde und zur Bewahrung des kulturellen Erbes im Jahre 2006 den Freundschaftsorden der Russischen Föderation. 2010 wurde ihr die Auszeichnung der Europäischen Denkmalschutzorganisation „Europa Nostra“ verliehen, 2011 wurde sie für ihren großartigen Beitrag zur Bewahrung des kulturellen Nachlasses mit dem Russischen Staatsorden „Verdienste um das Vaterland“ ausgezeichnet. Das Museum, geschaffen durch sie mit Unterstützung einer breiten Öffentlichkeit, errang verdiente Anerkennung nicht nur in Russland, sondern auch im Ausland. Es wurde zum Anziehungspunkt für all die Menschen, die sich für das Werk der großartigen Roerich-Familie interessieren. Die Tätigkeit des nichtstaatlichen Museums des Internationalen Roerich-Zentrums entspricht allen Regelwerken der Russischen Föderation im Bereich Museumsarbeit, sie hält die höchsten professionellen Standards genauso ein wie die internationalen Standards von ICOM und UNESCO. Das Nikolaj-Roerich-Museum des Internationalen Roerich-Zentrums leistet seine Arbeit zur Verbreitung des kulturellen Erbes auf höchstem internationalem Niveau. Belegt ist dies durch die vielen Danksagungen des damaligen UNO-Generalsekretärs Ban Ki-moon und der Generaldirektorin der UNESCO, Irina Bokova an das Internationale Roerich-Zentrum insbesondere im Jahr 2015, dem 80-sten Jahrestag der Unterzeichnung des Roerich-Paktes und dem 70-sten Jahrestages des Sieges im 2. Weltkrieg, für seine internationale Tätigkeit zur Verbreitung der friedenschaffenden Ideen Nikolaj Roerichs.
Etwas Offensichtliches muss noch erwähnt werden: Mit dem Wechsel der Führung im Ministerium für Kultur der Russischen Föderation im Jahre 2012 änderte sich das Verhältnis dieser staatlichen Einrichtung zum unabhängigen nichtstaatlichen Nikolaj-Roerich-Museum des Internationalen Roerich-Zentrums plötzlich und vollständig. Zur Erreichung des offen erklärten Ziels der Zerstörung des nichtstaatlichen Nikolaj-Roerich-Museums durch das Ministerium für Kultur der Russischen Föderation werden nun alle Mittel eingesetzt. Im Jahr 2013 begann das Ministerium eine Kampagne zur Diskreditierung des Internationalen Roerich-Zentrums und seiner Führung. Diese Aktivitäten mündeten darin, dass man uns extremistischer und sonstiger ungesetzlicher Tätigkeiten beschuldigte. Auf Initiative des Ministeriums für Kultur der Russischen Föderation untersuchte das Justizministerium der Russischen Föderation im Juni 2016 das Internationale Roerich-Zentrum auf extremistische Tätigkeiten und stellte fest, dass die Tätigkeit des Internationalen Roerich-Zentrums nicht extremistisch ist und der Satzung der Organisation in vollem Umfang entspricht. Aber das war nur eine von vielen Untersuchungen. Zur Diskreditierung des Internationalen Roerich-Zentrums wurden durch den Ersten Stellvertretenden Minister für Kultur, V.V. Aristarchov, in den Jahren 2015 und 2015 mehr als 20 außerplanmäßige Überprüfungen des Internationalen Roerich-Zentrums angestoßen, um das nichtstaatliche Museum zu zerstören und sich dessen Exponaten zu bemächtigen.. Darüber hinaus wurden gegen das Internationale Roerich-Zentrum 13 Gerichtsverfahren initiiert. Ist dies etwa keine Bestätigung der zielgerichteten Aktivität der momentanen Führung des Kulturministeriums, ein nichtstaatliches Museum zu zerstören?!
„Die Zerstörung des Museums ist die Zerstörung des Landes“. Diese Worte schrieb Svetoslav Roerich, der fest an die große Bedeutung von Museen und ihrer führende Rolle bei der Bewahrung der Kultur eines Landes glaubte, unabhängig davon, ob ein Museum staatlich, privat oder öffentlich ist. Die vor unseren Augen erfolgende Zerstörung des nichtstaatlichen Museums widerspricht den nationalen Interessen Russlands und untergräbt seinen Ruf auf der internationalen Bühne, indem es seine Unfähigkeit zeigt, sogar anerkannte und bedeutende Kulturinstitutionen vor willkürlichen Handlungen seiner Beamten schützen zu können. In Russland wurde ein Präzedenzfall geschaffen, als ohne Gerichtsentscheid auf Bestellung des Ministeriums für Kultur der Russischen Föderation und unter dem Deckmantel von Ermittlungen Kulturschätze beschlagnahmt wurden, die keinerlei Bezug zu dem laufenden Ermittlungsverfahren haben. Würdevoll feiert die Führung des Ministeriums für Kultur den 100. Jahrestag des Umschwungs in Russland im Jahre 1917, während ohne Gerichtsentscheid die Schätze der russischen Kultur geplündert werden. Wem schlägt hier die Stunde?
Verehrte Kollegen! Als vollwertiges Mitglied des Internationalen Museumsrates (ICOM) bitten wir eindringlich um Ihre dringliche Bewertung und Ihren entschiedenen Protest über die groben und gesetzwidrigen Handlungen gegen das nichtstaatliche Nikolaj-Roerich-Museum des Internationalen Roerich-Zentrums und seiner Mitarbeiter durch die Vertreter des Ministeriums für Kultur der Russischen Föderation und des Staatlichen Museum für Orientalische Kunst. Wir bitten eindringlich um Ihre Intervention und Ihren Schutz vor der groben Verwüstung und Zerstörung des größten nichtstaatlichen Museums des Landes, das mit Recht ein öffentliches nationales Kulturgut Russlands ist.

Hochachtungsvoll,

Mitglieder des Belegschaftsrates des Internationalen Roerich-Zentrums
E.A. Sakharova
V.V. Bajda
I.P.Gerashchenko
M.V. Grishina
T.O. Knizhnik
A.A. Lebedenko
D.J. Revyakin
E.V. Romanova
N.N. Morochkovskaya
T.N. Rumyanceva
D.S. Kulyanica

Quelle des Originals: Website des Internationalen Roerich-Zentrums