St. Petersburg, India to cooperate in keeping Roerichs’ heritage safe

Tuesday, 12 November 2013 07:42

Russia’s St. Petersburg and India will be cooperating to preserve the cultural legacy of the Russian artists and philosophers Roerichs, St. Petersburg’s governor Georgy Poltavchenko and Indian Minister of Culture Chandresh Kumari Katoch agreed Monday.

“It is my first visit to St. Petersburg, and I am impressed by the way how cultural legacy has been preserved here, especially the way it was restored after World War II,” she said.

Katoch suggested an agreement between St. Petersburg and the National Centre of Archaeological Research in India, as well as museums, in particular those that are doing research into Roerichs’ legacy. In particular, Indian specialists were interested in the technique of preserving paintings in tough climatic conditions, like those in the Indian state Karnataka, where the museum-house of the Roerichs is located, Katoch said. Poltavchenko supported the idea and pledged to assist cooperation between the parties concerned. One of them is the State Roerich Family Museum-Institute in St. Petersburg, whose collection contains about 15,000 items, among them personal items, manuscripts, paintings, pieces of decorative art, archaeological finds, and photos.

Previously, at the beginning of the year Karnataka’s government announced it had allocated 250 million rupees (over $4 million) for the development of Roerichs’ former estate Tataguni near Bangalore, including the construction of a museum building. The decision followed a scandal that broke out a year ago, when Karnataka’s legislative assembly suggested part of the memorial complex be used as a dump. The proposal was turned down. Bangalore’s municipal corporation found it impossible. Deputy Chief Minister Shri R. Ashoka assured no dump would be organized on the site. Now the Roerich estate plays an important role in the life of India’s north attracting about 100,000 visitors annually.

ST. PETERSBURG, November 11 (Itar-Tass)


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