Inetrnational Centre of the Roerichs

International Non-Governmental Organization | Special consultative status with UN ECOSOC
Associate member with UN DPI | Institutional member of International Council of Museums (ICOM)
Member of pan-European Federation for Cultural Heritage EUROPA NOSTRA | Associate member with INTO

Roerichs' familyRoerichs' evolutionary actionsMuseum named after Nicholas RoerichPublishing activity
Scientific enlightment workProtection of the Roerichs' name and heritageICR: general information

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Lyudmila V. Shaposnikova presented with European Union Prize for cultural heritage

On October 9th the International socio-scientific conference “75 Years of the Roerich Pact” was opened. The conference was ushered in with the ceremony of EUROPA NOSTRA - All-European Federation for Cultural Heritage Preservation - Award presentation to Director-General of the Museum by name of Nicholas Roerich, Honoured Art Worker of Russian Federation, Lyudmila V. Shaposhnikova. The award was presented by Vice-president of the Federation Alexander Sayn-Wittgenstein.

In his welcoming speech he emphasized that it was a great honour for him to present Lyudmila V. Shaposhnikova with the award personally and he was especially happy that the ceremony was taking place at the International Centre of the Roerichs. “This institution keeps the memory of the Roerich Pact - a document of great value, which not only lead to the signing of the Hague Convention, but which very much influenced the civil society to focus their interest and activities on the protection of our cultural heritage. It did in 1935 set the ground for the foundation of countless organizations and initiatives - one of which is Europa Nostra.”

He added that the members of the jury he presided sincerely admired the life-long activity of Lyudmila V. Shaposhnikova and unanimously recognized her as the most qualified nominee in the category “Dedicated Service” among the nominees from 26 states. Alexander zu Sayn-Wittgenstein presented her with the award, symbolizing the pan-European House, and the honorary diploma.

Accepting the greetings from the conference participants, Lyudmila V. Shaposhnikova said: “I am very grateful for the high assessment of my service, which I consider to be the assessment of the work done by the whole team of our Museum”.

The morning session was opened by Alexey Postnikov, President of the International Centre of the Roerichs, Doctor of Technical Sciences, Professor, Academician of Russian Academy of Natural Sciences, Honored Scientist of the Russian Federation. He congratulated Lyudmila V. Shaposhnikova with the award - and all the conference participants with the significant date: the birthday of Nicholas Roerich. Speaking about the main aspects of the artistic and scientific work by this outstanding philosopher and painter, he also noted that the famous idea by Fyodor M. Dostoevsky - “Beauty will save the world” - was significantly developed by Nicholas Roerich. The latter added: “The understanding of beauty will save the world”, and it is this great idea that underlies the Roerich Pact.

Karl von Habsburg-Lothringen, President of the Association of National Committees of the Blue Shield, also made a welcoming speech. Congratulating Lyudmila V. Shaposhnikova, he stressed her outstanding achievements in preserving the elements of the spirit of the Roerich’s time, which were saved for the present, but also had to be saved for the future. Having reviewed the Museum's exhibitions, he noted with admiration that what he saw there was the “living cultural heritage which is much more powerful than just buildings or art items. The living power that has been given to this heritage for the future sees its revival in this Museum”.

In his speech, Alexander V. Kibovski, Head of the Federal Service Controlling Legal Compliance in the Field of Cultural Heritage Protection in Russia (Rosochrankultura), drew special attention to the fact that the Roerich Pact is not just a declaration, but also a testimony of the moral maturity of the civilization. For the officials at his department, the Roerich Pact is not a mere historical document, but also a working methodical instruction that reflects their position in many difficult situations.

In her speech, addressing Lyudmila V. Shaposhnikova, Galina I. Malanicheva, President of the All-Russian Society for Historical and Cultural Monuments Preservation, expert in the field of the governmental record-keeping of the cultural heritage and the economical-legal security, member of the Council for Culture and the Arts under President of the Russian Federation, said: “You have always been an example for other social figures operating in the field of cultural heritage. Your creative and scientific work is the constant progression in spite of all obstacles”.

The conference sessions continued during October 10th - 11th. The main event of the final day of the conference was the round table, chaired by Lyudmila V. Shaposhnikova. Representatives of Russian and foreign non-governmental organizations, such as the All-Russian Society for Protection of Historical and Cultural Monuments, the International Committee of the Red Cross, the Association of National Committees of the Blue Shield , the International Centre of the Roerichs and others took an active part in the conference sessions. Round table format was chosen to discuss the present day problems of the Roerichs' heritage preservation. It has been 21 year that the International Centre of the Roerichs and public Museum by name of Nicholas Roerich are working under no legal guaranties of their very existence and safety of the Roerichs' heritage. Of great concern is the fate of the first part of the heritage, brought to the USSR by George Roerich and stored on the territory of the Russian Federation. A number of other problems, threatening the heritage under the circumstances of flawed legislation and insufficient government protection, were also discussed at the conference.

Round table discussion was concluded by adoption of the resolution on the necessity of the international protection of the Roerichs' family heritage.

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