Russia will make active steps to attain a higher status for the Roerich family museum compounds in India, Russian Ambassador in New Delhi, Alexander Kadakin said at a news conference Thursday. “By and large, it’d be wrong to claim that the Indian authorities don’t show attention to the heritage of the unique Russian family that is found here in India,” he said answering a question from Itar-Tass.
“We’re confident that the museum facilities related to the Roerichs should have the status that would guarantee the maintenance of their unique heritage at a level matching the contribution that fellow-countrymen made to the cultural trove of humankind,” Kadakin said.
He recalled that India has three facilities related to the Roerichs heritage – a museum house on the Himalayan estate in the Kullu Valley that is managed by the International Roerich Memorial Trust, the Tataguni estate in the vicinity of Bangalore where Svyatoslav Roerich and his wife, the star of the early Indian cinema Devika Rani lived, and Kalimpong in the state of West Bengal where Helena Roerich, the wife of Svyatoslav’s son Nicholas and the founder of the Agni Yoga philosophic teaching spent the last years of her life.
Quite recently, after seventeen years of court litigations the Tataguni estate in southern India was finally delivered from the coveting by predatory swindlers and land jobbers. A resolution passed by India’s Supreme Court opens the doors to turning it into a museum and arts center
“A plan proposed by the government of Karnataka State fully stands in line with our common interests and now a real opportunity has emerged for translating it into life,” Ambassador Kadakin said. “We’ll help it materialize in every possible way.”
As for the house in Kalimpong where Helena Roerich died, it was restored by the Italian Roerich Society, which also turned it into a museum.
Arousing concern is the plight of the Roerich family’s northern estate in the Himalayas where the family lived and worked in the 1920’s.
“There’s a definite difference in the approaches towards the amelioration and further development of the estate on the part of Russia and the local authorities,” Ambassador Kadakins said. “We think it shouldn’t be a rural museum but rather, a museum compound well known in the region, state and the entire India, in other words, a memorial compound meeting the highest international standards.”
“We thank the authorities of Himachal Pradesh State for the many things they’re doing to maintain the Roerichs’ estate in Naggar, but we speak out resolutely against the attempts push Russia aside or simply squeeze Russian representatives out of the activity of the International Roerich Memorial Trust,” the ambassador added.
“This estate that has the blessing of the memories about the entire Roerich family should be a lantern, a source of spiritual power for the living and forthcoming generations of Indians and Russians, for everyone cherishing the common human values,” he said.
NEW DELHI, December 8 (Itar-Tass)