On February 18, H.E. Mr Alexander Kadakin, Ambassador of Russia to India, visited “Tataguni”, the former estate of Svyatoslav Roerich on the outskirts of Bangalore – the capital of the Indian Silicon Valley.
The Ambassador was accompanied by Mr Nikolai Listopadov, Consul General of Russia in South India, Mr Fyodor Rozovsky, Head of “Rossotrudnichestvo” in India, Mr Alexander Chinyaev, “Sistema” company representative, and Mr Alexander Bondarenko, “NIS-GLONASS” representative. Ms Roza Otunbaeva, ex-President of Kyrgyzstan, joined them while on a private visit to Bangalore. The guests were welcomed by Dr M.H. Mujeeb Ahmed, Chief Executive Officer of the Roerich estate Board for maintaining and developing “Tataguni” and Chief Curator from the State Government.
The delegation laid flowers on the grave of S.N.Roerich and the samadhi (cremation place) of his wife and prominent film star Devika Rani.
Dr M.H. Mujeeb Ahmed told about the Board’s efforts to preserve the legacy of the unique Russian-Indian couple. Particularly, significant work has been already done to compile archives, digitize and laminate documents and photos belonging to S.N.Roerich and his spouse.
In August 2011, after 15-year-long litigation over the estate, the Supreme Court’s final verdict in favor of Karnataka state removed the major impediment to transforming “Tataguni” into a museum-cum-research tourist centre. Both Russian and Indian sides are ready to contribute to it. For instance, Sistema’s affiliate “Sistema Shyam TeleServices Ltd.”, operating on the Indian market under the “MTS” brand, is willing to provide assistance in restoring S.N.Roerich’s paintings.
The Russian Ambassador expressed cordial gratitude to Dr M.H. Mujeeb Ahmed and his staff who take care of S.N.Roerich’s estate and stressed the need to jointly accelerate transforming of “Tataguni” into the world-class museum-cum-research ecological complex, which will become an attraction for tourists from all over the world and first of all from Russia and India. “It would create conditions for fulfilling the Roerich’s family behests of bringing our peoples together through art and culture”, noted Alexander Kadakin.