International Roerich Memorial Trust Marks 25 years
“Today, the International Roerich Memorial Trust has turned into a world-renowned scientific, cultural and art center, bustling with multifaceted activities,” – reads the address of the Embassy of the Russian Federation in the Republic of India to the Chief Minister of Himachal Pradesh Dr. Virbhadra Singh sent on the occasion of the anniversary. “It undoubtedly plays a unique role in the cultural life of India as a true “Shaan of Himachal”.
The International Roerich Memorial Trust (IRMT) – the unique symbol of Russian-Indian cultural cooperation located in the hallowed Himalayan Kullu valley – has turned 25. Exactly 25 years ago, on July 6, 1992, Dr. Svetoslav Roerich signed the first Trust Deed, and this date has since then been celebrated as the birthday of the Trust – the organization meant to preserve, study and promote the heritage of the great Russian family in India.
In the hallowed Roerich Estate in Naggar, the house-museum where the renowned Russian family spent many years has been carefully preserved, and new displays open every year.
The International Centre of the Roerichs (ICR), Moscow, also sent a congratulatory message to the Chief Minister of Himachal Pradesh and the IRMT administration on the occasion of the anniversary.
The Roerich Estate in the Himalayan Kullu valley is rightfully counted among the unique monuments of Russian spiritual, cultural and scientific heritage abroad, and is one of the key cultural cooperation points between India and Russia. It is annually visited by tens of thousands of Russian and Indian tourists, and Roerich lovers from all over the world. Joined in partnership, the Indian and Russian colleagues do everything possible to preserve and build upon the achievements of the past quarter of a century, for the cultural and scientific heritage of the Roerichs is a firm spiritual bridge connecting the people of Russia and India.
IRMT maintains a regular schedule of exhibitions by the artists from different countries, international seminars, colloquiums of renowned scholars, and concerts featuring Russian ensembles.
An outstanding diplomat, Mr. Alexander M. Kadakin was one of the originators of the IRMT, its Vice President and Life Trustee.
The methodical and meticulous work for the revival of “Urusvati” Himalayan Research Institute has been going on: in May, for instance, the Memorial Study and exhibition dedicated to the famous Orientalist and Buddhist scholar George Roerich was opened, and in coming October the Chemistry Laboratory of the Institute will be open to public.
Under its aegis actively functions the Helena Roerich Academy of Arts for Children where young residents of the Kullu valley study painting, classical Indian music and dance, and traditional crafts. Visitors can use the Reading Room and Computer Room of the IRMT Cultural-Educational Centre.
Attracting many people from India, Russia, as well as across the globe, the Trust not only fulfills the desires of Svetoslav Roerich, but also pursues the vision of the late Russian Ambassador to India Alexander Kadakin, who devoted his life to preserve and promote the priceless artistic, scientific, philosophical and spiritual heritage of the Roerichs.”
Along with Dr. Svetoslav Roerich and his spouse Devika Rani, and many representatives of the Government of India, the Himachal Pradesh government, the Indian political and cultural circles, he made significant efforts to ensure its formation and active development.
“Dear Dr. Vibhadra,” – reads the address to the Chief Minister of Himachal Pradesh who is also the President of the IRMT – “Let me express our confidence that with your active personal support and Himachal Pradesh government assistance we will be able to jointly utilize a strong untapped potential of this sacred place for the benefit of our nations and entire humanity.”
As will be recalled, the International Centre of the Roerichs founded by Dr. Svetoslav Roerich in 1991, acted as a co-founder of the IRMT, while the outstanding writer and Indian scholar Mrs. Lyudmila Shaposhnikova, Vice President, ICR, and Director General, Non-governmental Museum Named after Nicholas Roerich, was a Life Trustee of the IRMT.
“It is very significant,” reads the message, “that the great son of Russia and citizen of India established these two cultural institutions, which should serve to strengthen friendship, cultural and scientific cooperation between our nations. On October, 2, 2012 on the birthday of the great peacemaker Mahatma Gandhi, the leaders of IRMT and ICR signed an Agreement of Cooperation, which we hope to jointly strengthen and develop further for the improvement of this reserved memorial complex of the Roerich family in Naggar.”