06.12.2018 – Appeal of the International Centre of the Roerichs
to the Russian public and the international community
Russia is renowned for its great culture. The name of the great Russian artist Nicholas Roerich is as significant as the outstanding names of Pushkin, Dostoevsky, Chekhov, and Tolstoy. Roerich’s cultural heritage is the pride and glory of Russia.
In recent years the leadership of the Ministry of Culture of the Russian Federation has been trying to destroy the well-known non‑governmental organization–the International Centre of the Roerichs‑established in Moscow by Svetoslav Roerich, the younger son of Nicholas Roerich, with the objective of preservation, studying and promoting the heritage of his great father and the other members of the glorious family.
For the 25 years of its activity the International Centre of the Roerichs has become the focus in Russia for the development of society’s culture – in other words of culture which embodies the initiatives of society and is independent of the instructions and arbitrary rules of the officials from the Ministry of Culture.
Due to the support of the public, and without a penny of government funds, the International Centre of the Roerichs has managed:
– to restore from ruins the Lopoukhin Mansion – a historical monument of the XVII-XIX centuries;
– to establish in the Lopoukhin Mansion the non-governmental Museum named after Nicholas – the largest non-governmental museum in Russia, which is well known for its work in many countries of the world;
– to bring back from other countries to Roerichs’ native Russia more than 400 paintings by Nicholas Roerich and thus to create the largest collection of Roerichs’ paintings in the world;
– to launch an international movement for the protection and preservation of cultural heritage based on the peace-making ideas of the Roerich Pact;
– to initiate non-governmental projects aimed at the preservation in Russia of the cultural heritage.
The leadership of the Ministry of Culture of the Russian Federation has been systematically destroying all these achievements. The Lopoukhin Mansion was forcibly taken away from the International Centre of the Roerichs; the non-governmental Nicholas Roerich Museum was destroyed, more than 16,000 museum objects from the Roerichs’ heritage, including about 900 paintings and drawings, were seized and illegally appropriated. It is our deep concern that these cultural values might be lost, as has already happened with the collection of Nicholas Roerich’s paintings at the State Museum of Oriental Art and at the apartment of Nicholas Roerich’s eldest son in Moscow.
For several years, dozens of unscheduled inspections by various government bodies have been initiated against our non-governmental organization. In 2016, the Tax Inspectorate levied on the International Centre of the Roerichs taxes in the amount of 59 million Roubles for the use of the Roerichs paintings in our museum activity. For a non-governmental cultural organization this is an overwhelming, unbearable amount! This is truly a drastic case, for no museum or gallery has ever paid taxes for exhibiting its museum collections!
By the joint efforts of people who are not indifferent to the cause of culture, about 10 million Roubles have been collected to date. Taking into account daily charged penalty, it remains to raise further 50,000,000 (fifty million) Roubles. This amount must be paid by January 24, 2019.
The court on that day – the 24th of January, 2019 – will be sitting to initiate bankruptcy proceedings against the International Centre of the Roerichs. This could entail the sale of the Roerichs’ paintings at an auction and the liquidation of the organization founded in Russia by Nicholas Roerich’s family. The Ministry of Culture has been striving to achieve this for several years now.
Understanding, thinking and noble people over the past years have been selflessly providing the International Centre of the Roerichs with moral and material support. We can count only on the assistance of the public at large under these extremely difficult circumstances, fabricated artificially by the officials.
Therefore it now depends on how much money we shall raise all together as to whether we manage to preserve the International Centre of the Roerichs or we allow for cultural values of national and world significance to be sold off.
We are launching a heartfelt appeal to those who care about the culture of the world and of Russia, who are not indifferent to both justice and truth, to help the International Centre of the Roerichs with fund-raising.
Protecting the International Centre of the Roerichs from destruction, we do protect cultural heritage of world significance as well as of national significance for Russia. The Roerichs, who made an enormous contribution to the culture of the world and of Russia, transferred their heritage to the non-governmental organization the International Centre of the Roerichs which in compliance with the Roerichs’ design established the non-governmental Nicholas Roerich Museum and thus made this heritage accessible to the Russian people and to all the international community.
You can make a donation in any convenient way:
We will be grateful to everyone for any help!
The Board of the International Centre of the Roerichs