Peace has finally returned to the International Roerich Memorial Trust (IRMT), thanks to the efforts put in by Chief Secretary Sudripta Roy. He will inspect the works being carried out at the museum tomorrow, setting the stage for the smooth transition of power from the controversial curator, Alena Adamkova, to the two curators, an Indian and a Russian on August 7.
This development followed soon after Russian Ambassador Alexander Kadakin and other officials of the Russian Embassy and officials of the state government celebrated the 20th anniversary of the IRMT founded by S Roerich. They also had a formal discussion and expressed their desire to resolve the issue peacefully.
S Roerich had married Indian actress Devika Rani. He himself was a great painter and son of Nicholas Roerich, the great Russian painter who made Naggar his home and created “some masterpieces” that today have become a spiritual heritage of humanity in the Himalayas and adorns the IRMT museum at Naggar. But ironically no authentic inventory of this museum exists.
Talking to The Tribune, Roy said: “We will appoint two curators, a Russian and an Indian, to the satisfaction of all parties. The Russian curator will look after the museum and his Indian counterpart will take care of the administration and finance part and there is no conflict of interest now in the IRMT”.
He said they would review the progress on the inventory of the museum being made jointly by the team from the International Roerich Centre, Moscow, and the state museum registering authority, Shimla.
“The inventory is in final stages. We will also review the progress of the restoration works of the building,” Roy said.
The Chief Secretary said the two curators would take over the charge from Adamkova by August 7. “We will set up a museum and an art school there before they take over from her,” he added.
Besides, the state has received the consent of the Ministry of Cultural Affairs (MoCA) and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA) for the mutually agreed arrangement to run the IRMT, Naggar, putting an end to the series of controversies that had shattered the functioning of the trust.
“We also conveyed our agreement to this arrangement to the Department of Culture, MoCA, and MoFA to run the trust to best satisfaction of all trustees,” Roy said.
“The Russian trustees have also agreed to this arrangement”, he added.
Besides, the government has asked for the annual grant from MoCA to foot the salary bills of the two curators and other employees. But the arrangement is that funds for salary of the Russian curator will come from the Russian side. But we have funds as of now and this issue will be sorted out as well,” Roy said.
Kuldeep Chauhan /TNS
Mandi/Naggar, July 28