Russia urges Centre to take over Roerich Trust in HP

Saturday, 21 April 2012 17:24

Russia on Friday lodged strong objection to what it called "aggressive " attempts by Himachal government officials to take over the International Roerich Memorial Trust (IRMT) housed in Naggar in Kullu valley of the state and urged the Centre to take the trust under its jurisdiction.

Last month, Russian Ambassador M Kadakin had urged Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to personally intervene in the matter.

Nicholas Roerich, the legendary Russian painter, scientist, philosopher and writer had made the Kullu valley in Himachal his home in the last years of his life and the pristine glory of the Himalayas has been the source of inspiration of hundreds of his paintings.

The Russian Embassy on Friday said that a second attempt for illegal takeover of the Trust was made on April 17.

Such moves are aimed at "provoking a scandal of bilateral and international dimensions", it said. "The Board of Trustees were behaving in a rude and uncivilized manner to remove Dr Adamkova, a reputed scholar and IRMT executive director/curator, completely ignoring her invaluable contribution to the development of the IRMT complex in Naggar during the last 10 years," the Embassy said.

It alleged that with the support of the local authorities, some BOT members had lately unleashed a massive campaign of slanders and provocations to discredit her, culminating in absurd moves to evict from the Trust all Russian members, including the Ambassador of Russia to India, who is the IRMT founder, lifetime trustee and vice-president.   

The Embassy said it had been insisting on formation of special commission comprising representatives from the state administration and those from the Government of India in the
Board of Trustees (BoT), as well as Russian experts and Embassy officials, entrusted with the task of examining and taking stock of the Museum's items and property.

"Considering the high value of the Museum artifacts, this will ensure the integrity and preservation of the collection and will help to avoid any possible or pre-conceived misunderstandings, claims or counter claims and inconsistent accusations. An appropriate document of transfer must be signed by the three parties before Dr Adamkova leaves the premises and her post," it said.

Hindustan Times, Apr 20, 2012

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