Urgent message from the International Centre of the Roerichs
Lyudmila Shaposhnikova was a well known public figure in Russia, the world's leading researcher and popularizer of the Roerich family creativity, the historian-orientalist, philosopher¸ writer, traveler, Honored Art Worker of Russia, Academician of the Russian Academy of Natural Sciences and the Russian Academy of Cosmonautics named after Tsiolkovsky, an honorary doctor of Sofia University, Honorary Doctor of Mongolian Academy of Sciences, Honorary Doctor of the Kyrgyz-Russian Slavic University, chief editor of "Culture and Time" journal, the first vice-president of the International Centre of the Roerichs (ICR), the president of the Charitable Foundation named after Helena Roerich.
A considerable part of her creative activity Lyudmila V. Shaposhnikova devoted to the research of Indian history and culture as well as development of cultural relations between Russia and India. She is the author of a number of books on India and its people, written in a vivid and fascinating style. Lyudmila Shaposhnikova's contribution to the scientific research of India won her the International Award of Jawaharlal Nehru.
In 1968, in India there was the first meeting of Lyudmila V. Shaposhnikova with Dr. Svetoslav Roerich – the youngest son of Nicholas Roerich, a famous artist, educator and public figure. Since then, the scientific, cultural and artistic heritage of the Roerich family becomes the central theme of her researches.
In 1973 – 1974-s. Lyudmila V. Shaposhnikova in collaboration with R.A. Grigoryeva scripted the first ever documentary about Nicholas Roerich produced in Russia.
In 1975 – 1980-s she alone undertook the route of the Roerichs’ Central Asian expedition (excluding China). The result of this travel was the publication of a unique album "From Altai to Himalayas", where Lyudmila V. Shaposhnikova appears not only as the author of an interesting texts, but also as a talented photographer.
All this, including many outstanding qualities of her character as a scientist, organizer, creatively and broadly thinking person, determined the choice of Dr. Svetoslav Roerich in 1989, when he suggested the candidacy of Lyudmila V. Shaposhnikova as the head of the non-governmental Centre-Museum named after Nicholas Roerich. Dr. Svetoslav Roerich in 1990 announced her as his trustee, through whom he handed over to his homeland priceless cultural legacy of his parents. In May of the same year a unique cargo was delivered by Lyudmila V. Shaposhnikova from India to Moscow, which became a national treasure of Russia. Thus, thanks to her selfless activities Lyudmila V. Shaposhnikova managed to carry out unprecedented in the world practice repatriation of heritage from abroad to Russia. They returned home 4.5 tons of pictures and archives of the Roerich family.
Under the guidance and direct participation of Lyudmila V. Shaposhnikova in difficult conditions, without involvement of budget funds a unique architectural monument of the XVII - XIX centuries – “Lopukhins’ Mansion” has been restored from the ruins. Here, within a short period of time under her leadership there has been created the largest non-governmental Museum in Russia – Centre-Museum named after Nicholas Roerich of the International Centre of the Roerichs.
Lyudmila V. Shaposhnikova is known not only as a scientist and researcher, expert in cultural studies, and art historian, but also as a profound philosopher. A well-grounded approach in her interpretation of the Living Ethics makes it easier to understand the spiritual principles of Cosmic evolution of humanity and how to put them into practice in daily lives. Her fundamental books «The Cosmic Will (1995), «Wisdom of the Ages» (1996), «The Resplendent City. The New Planetary Way of Thinking and Russia» (1999), and «The Thorny Path of Beauty» (The Best Book of the Year Award, 2002), have laid the foundation for a new comprehension of the world history and culture. Now these works belong to the most valuable possession of the cultural heritage of Russia as well as the East.
In total, Lyudmila V. Shaposhnikova wrote 35 books and over 500 articles devoted to the creative activity of the Roerich family, the culture and history of the Indian peoples.
As one of the pioneers of the Russian Roerich studies, Lyudmila V. Shaposhnikova was the founder of a new scientific school of cultural-historical research related to the study of artistic and philosophical heritage of the Roerich family.
State authorities, Russian and international community highly esteemed the scientific and literary work of Lyudmila V. Shaposhnikova, her cultural and public activity, research and popularization of the Roerichs' heritage, as well as her devotion to lofty ideals.
By the edict of the President (No. 1362, November 27, 2002), Lyudmila V. Shaposhnikova was awarded the title of the Honored Art Worker of the Russian Federation for the outstanding service in the field of art.
In 2006, for her great contribution to the development of museum science and cultural heritage preservation Lyudmila V. Shaposhnikova was awarded the "Order of Friendship”.
In 2007, for her outstanding services to the organization and implementation of the restoration of the XVII-XIX centuries’ architectural monument – "Lopukhins’ Mansion", which hosted the non-governmental Museum named after Nicholas Roerich, Lyudmila V. Shaposhnikova was awarded the National Prize "Cultural Heritage".
In 2010, the activities of Lyudmila V. Shaposhnikova received high recognition in Europe. She was awarded by the European Union Prize for Cultural Heritage "Europa Nostra" in the nomination "dedicated work".
In 2011 Lyudmila V. Shaposhnikova was awarded with the Order of Merit 4th grade for the great contribution in preservation of cultural heritage, and long-term educational and public activity.
In 2012 she was awarded the title of laureate of the Charity Foundation "Tree of Life" for revival of national, cultural and spiritual heritage.
The UNESCO Moscow Office awarded Lyudmila V. Shaposhnikova a diploma for her significant contribution to the program "World Culture. The Russian Academy of Arts awarded her the medal «To the Worthy». She was awarded Honorary Sign «The Knight of Science and Arts» and Silver Medal «The 10th Anniversary of the Russian Academy of Natural Sciences - 1990 - 2000» by the Russian Academy of Natural Sciences). The International Humanitarian Fund «Znanie» awarded her «The Academician S.I. Vavilov Medal» for the outstanding contribution to the scientific, educational, historical, cultural, and public activities on the preservation and popularization of the Nicholas Roerich's heritage. She was awarded «The Tsiolkovsky Medal» for the services to Russian cosmonautics by the Russian Academy of Cosmonautics.
Lyudmila V. Shaposhnikova is co-chairman of the international projects under the aegis of the UNO «The Banner of Peace», «The Bell of Peace», «The Day of the Earth», and «The Flag of the Earth».
In honor of Ms. Shaposhnikova, a minor planet 9717, discovered by astronomer N.S. Chernyh, was named «Lyudvasilia».
Lyudmila V. Shaposhnikova completed her life journey. She left as a legacy to us created by her a non-governmental museum, the preserved Roerichs’ heritage, her grand-scale plans and international public, scientific, cultural and educational activities, her books and precepts which remain with us. Let us be worthy to accept and carry on her legacy.
Farewell to Lyudmila V. Shaposhnikova will take place on August 27 from 10 to 13.30 at the Museum named after Nicholas Roerich in Moscow, Maly Znamensky lane. 3/5. The funeral and cremation will take place in Mitino crematorium at Pyatnitskoe highway, the 6th kilometer.
The staff of the International Centre of the Roerichs