The large-scale exhibition project “The Roerich Pact. History and Modernity” organized by the International Centre of the Roerichs and the International Roerichs’ Heritage Preservation Committee goes on travelling around India. In early July the project was launched in Shimla – the capital of the Himachal Pradesh state; then the exhibition dedicated to the Roerich Pact opened at the Himalaya Roerichs’ estate in Naggar; on 9 September it was received in the Indian city of Chandigarh, the capital of the two states – Punjab and Haryana. The organizer of the exhibit in Chandigarh was, as in Shimla, the Lalit Kala Akademi (Academy of Fine Arts), its Punjab center.
The exhibition opened at the Sobha Singh Art Gallery close to the popular Rose Garden and near the Fine Art Museum where some Indian landscapes by Nicholas Roerich are displayed. The major organizer of the exhibition on part of the Academy was the renowned Indian painter, the Secretary of the Punjab Lalit Lala Academy, prof. Sadna Sangar.
Exhibition “The Roerich Pact. History and Modernity” in Chandigarh
The Chairman of the Punjab Art Council Bibi Hardjinder Kaur said that India loves and highly honors the great Russian painter Nicholas Roerich. His paintings are kept in Indian museums; the Pact ideas on protecting culture strike a chord in the heart of all Indian people. Bibi Hardjinder Kaur expressed her gratitude to the International Centre of the Roerichs and the International Roerichs’ Heritage Preservation Committee for the provided opportunity to display the exhibit dedicated to the Pact in Chandigarh – the city famous for its museums, galleries, theatres and known for its active art life. She thanked the Russian Embassy in Delhi represented by Sergey Karmalito for its participation in the exhibition opening ceremony.
The inauguration of the exhibition was honored with the presence of the Chhattisgarh state governor his Exellency Balramji Dass Tandon. The guests of honor were also Head of the Punjab Arts Council Bibi Harjinder Kaur, President Punjab Lalit Kala Akademi Sardar Harbinder Singh Khalsa and Senior Counselor of the Embassy of the Russian Federation in India S.V.Karmalito.
According to the Indian tradition, the opening began with a ceremonial candle lighting and acquaintance with the exhibition. After broadcasting the video dedicated to Nicholas Roerich’s creative and activities of the Museum named after Nicholas Roerich in Moscow the Russian curator of the International Roerich Memorial Trust in Naggar (Kullu) and the ICR staff Larisa Surgina welcomed the guests on behalf of the ICR management. She congratulated everybody with the opening of the Exhibition dedicated to the Pact in Chandigarh and thanked the Punjab Lalit Kala Academy officials for the wonderful hall where “we all have gathered today for Peace and Culture in the name of those who dedicated their lives to these highest ideals.”
Larisa Surgina emphasized that “contributing to better mutual understanding between peoples is important today as never before. Humankind has come very close to the edge of abyss. Nowadays the Roerich Pact not only remains its relevance but it’s getting more and more significant. And public engagement in the Pact promotion is increasingly important. The testimony of this is the international exhibition project “The Roerich Pact. History and Modernity” initiated by the International Centre of the Roerichs and launched at the UN office in Paris in 2012.
The Roerich Pact's relevance for preserving world cultural heritage was stressed by Chhattisgarh governor His Exellency Balramji Dass Tandon in his address. He also pointed out the symbolism of the fact that it was in India, in the sacred Himalayan mountains that Nicholas Roerich worked on the Pact. The Roerichs’ Estate in Naggar where the Russian painter and his family lived for a long time has become a magnet for numerous guests and tourists from India and the whole world.
“Now, at the International Roerich Memorial Trust Russian and Indian experts conduct a vast research work on preserving the Roerichs’ heritage and reviving the Urusvati Institute activities,” noted the Senior Counsellor of the RF Embassy in India Mr. Sergey Karmalito in his remarks, “The Roerichs Memorial Complex is transforming into a source of knowledge and education. It has a huge untapped creative potential to emerge as the nucleus of a global art and cultural movement dedicated to promoting world peace, universal brotherhood and protection and revival of the artistic and cultural heritage of humanity. This indeed is the specific message of the Roerich Pact which 80th Anniversary we mark with this Exhibition. Such implemented Roerichs’ dreams correspond to the mutual aspiration of two great nations – Russia and India – and the spirit of their time-tested friendship which have reached a new level of special and privileged strategic partnership.”
The opening ceremony ended with the ceremonial presentation of the Banner of Peace to the Punjab Lalit Kala Academy on behalf of the International Centre of the Roerichs and the International Roerichs’ Heritage Preservation Committee. “Let it flutter above the Lalit Kala Akademi over Chandigarh strengthening the foundations of Culture, of peace and mutual understanding between our peoples and all peoples of the Earth” – these words were the words that ended the solemn inauguration of the Exhibition “The Roerich Pact. History and Modernity ended” that continues its march around Indian cities.