Welcome address of the Ambassador of Russia to India, H.E. Mr Alexander Kadakin, at the opening ceremony of the exhibition “The Roerich Pact. History and modernity”.
Shimla, Himachal Pradesh, July 7, 2014.
Honourable Chief Minister of Himachal Pradesh,
my dear friend Dr Virbhadra Singh,
Esteemed guests, ladies and gentlemen,
Almost 80 years ago a unique international document on protection of artistic and scientific institutions and historic monuments known as the Roerich Pact was signed. The idea of combining the efforts of the world community in protecting cultural values seized Nicholas Roerich, an outstanding Russian painter and philosopher, venerated as maharishi in India, long before it had gained real form and content, uniting subsequently like-minded persons in many countries of the world.
It is deeply symbolic that the Roerich Pact was adopted at a time when its author lived and worked on the Indian soil in the sacred Himalayas which he depicted so splendidly in his paintings and which used to serve for him as an inexhaustible source of inspiration in all his endeavours.
The Roerich Pact is the first document in international practice that provided the basis for legal system of protection of mankind’s humanitarian heritage. It plays a constructive role and ensures that the cultural legacy is preserved and enriched under complicated modern conditions of growing animosity and bursting regional conflicts.
Mankind should not forget one of the major precepts of the Roerich Pact that in the absence of proper care about our common cultural heritage we are inevitably doomed to extinction.
Nicholas Roerich rightly believed that, apart from protecting material objects of culture, it is equally essential to safeguard and highly rate the Man himself as the supreme embodiment of spiritual knowledge. One should strive to overcome hostility and conflicts, tragic disintegration and estrangement which so often cast a dark shadow on and poison our life. Any creative work and achievement of desired results are possible only through mutual understanding, cohesion and consent.
We are grateful to the organizers of this event both from India and Russia.
May I wish great success to this remarkable exhibition and fruitful discussions to the participants of the international seminar.
Ambassador Extraordinary & Plenipotentiary
of the Russian Federation in India, Vice-President of the
International Roerich Memorial Trust (IRMT), Naggar