Popularization and preservation of the Roerichs’ estate-cum-museum in Naggar located in the Himalayan Kulu valley in Northern India appeared to be among key topics at the meeting of the Executive Board of the International Roerich Memorial Trust (IRMT).
According to the Russian Embassy’s senior counselor Sergey Karmalito, the meeting approved the plan for the estate’s urgent restoration and repair and also gave a nod to the candidacies of writer, ethnographer and historian O.Handa as a new IRMT director and Larisa Surgina as a curator.
Besides, the Russian Embassy came up with a proposal to nominate a coordinator for scientific and cultural cooperation, and this proposal found acceptance. Roerichs’ expert Michail Chiryatyev was suggested for this position.
The meeting took place soon after the team of experts headed by Larisa Surgina completed laborious work on stock-taking of museum exhibits both from the main exhibition and those kept in vaults. During three months the researchers examined and registered more than eight thousand items featuring 49 canvases by Nicholas and Svetoslav Roerich and 102 statues of gods and heroes of ancient Indian epics. 392 memorial items absent from all earlier registries now were put on record. The final registry also included zoological and herbarium collections amassed by the Roerichs and described by Russian experts who worked in the estate in 2010.
Addressing the meeting, Smt. Manisha Nanda, Principal Secretary in the Himachal Pradesh government, highly appreciated the work done. “Over the years of the IRMT existence it is the first time that such work has been conducted”, she noted and further added that the accumulated information would help to substantially diversify the museum’s exhibition and would bring its work to a higher level.
The same position has been repeatedly voiced out by H.E. Mr Alexander Kadakin, Ambassador of Russia in India, who in his address occasioned by the IRMT 20th anniversary stressed the importance of joint work in preserving the values of the Roerichs family who embody mutual understanding and yearning for harmony and beauty for millions of people worldwide.
Nicholas Roerich who founded the outstanding dynasty of artists, scientists and thinkers and whose activities are inextricably connected with India, created around 7 thousand paintings now on display in reputed art galleries worldwide. Besides, he also penned over 30 works including “Altai-Himalaya. A Travel Diary”, “East and West” and “The Heart of Asia”. Nicholas Roerich was also the architect of the international treaty on preserving the cultural heritage (The Roerich Pact).
His wife, Helena Roerich, gained wide repute as the author of the philosophical system “The Living Ethics”. Their son Yuri is a well-known researcher of the Central Asia and the author of the multivolume Tibetan-English-Russian-Sanskrit dictionary. Their second son Svetoslav is an artist and India’s public figure honoured with Padma Bhushan, one of the highest Indian awards.
The International Roerich Memorial Trust was established in July 1992 for preserving and enhancing the spiritual and material legacy of the Roerichs in India.