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)
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Since April 28, 2017, the Non-Governmental Museum Named after Nicholas Roerich went defunct with the illegal seizure of its building and territory.

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Opening of the First Monument of George Roerich in India at the International Roerich Memorial Trust


The opening of the bronze bust of George Roerich on the grounds of the Roerichs Estate Museum in Naggar was one of the most solemn event of the October Cultural Festival in the IRMT. This significant event took place on October 9, the birthday of the great Russian artist Nicholas Roerich. "How George is needed," Nicholas Roerich wrote of his eldest son, "an Indologist, a Sanskritist, a Tibetologist and a Mongolist, who not only deeply studied the sources, but also spoke languages – an unprecedented combination, so necessary when the importance of Asia has risen". The monument to George Roerich was opened next to the memorial building of the Institute of Himalayan Studies "Urusvati", of which he was the permanent director and one of the founders.

Before the opening ceremony Mrs Larisa Surgina, the Russian Curator of International Roerich Memorial Trust, the co-worker of the International Centre of the Roerichs on behalf of the Russian-Indian team of IRMT welcomed the honorable guests and all the present. She recalled that the Russian-Indian cultural project to commemorate all members of the Roerich family at their memorial estate began in 2019 at the initiative of the International Center of the Roerichs (Moscow). The project was supported by the administration of Kullu District and the government of Himachal Pradesh; the International Public Foundation "Dialogue of Cultures – One World" (Moscow), as well as the friends and volunteers of the Roerich Trust assisted in the implementation of the project. Mrs Larisa Surgina expressed special gratitude to the sculptor Aleksei Leonov, the author of wonderful monuments which now meet the visitors on the territory of the Roerichs Estate Museum in Naggar.

The honorable guests were invited to the monument veiled with a white cloth: His Excellency Mr Denis Alipov, the Russian Ambassador to India, Mr Ashok Thakur, the lifetime trustee of the Roerichs Trust, Mr Surender Thakur, SDM Manali, Mr Pavel Zhuravikhin, the executive secretary of the International Center of the Roerichs, and also the priest Pandit Dev Acharya from the ancient Krishna temple. The priest blessed the ceremonial moment with the words of prayer and petals of flowers, the honorable guests untied the ribbons to the sound of trumpets and drums, and a bronze bust of George Roerich on a granite pedestal appeared before the eyes of the audience. After the sacred ritual, George Roerich was offered a flower garland, and the word of greeting was given to the Russian Ambassador.

Expressing his gratitude to all the participants of the memorable event, Mr. Alipov said: "We are opening the murti of the greatest son of the greatest family. George (or Yuri in Russian) was a very prominent scholar, a man of many achievements, an explorer, a traveler, a philosopher, a Buddhist. And indeed it will take years to value George Roerich's contribution to Indology and Tibetology. It is significant that we are unveiling the monument this year, which marks the 120-th anniversary of his birth,” the Ambassador remarked.

Mr. Ashok Thakur, the trustee of the Roerich Trust, in his presentation recalled how the International Roerich Memorial Trust had been created with the support of the Russian Embassy and the Government of India, and thanked the Russian Curator of the IRMT Mrs Larisa Surgina and Indian Curator Mr Suresh Kumar for their joint efforts to develop the IRMT and to move the Trust forward despite the difficulties encountered. He noted that his family, originally from Lahul, was closely connected to the Roerichs, especially to George, and the opening of the monument is of particular importance to him.

Mr Pavel Zhuravikhin began his speech by saying: “Today the entire Roerich family is united in this place, in this great spiritual ashram, which became the focus of Indian-Russian friendship.” A representative of the authorities of the International Center of the Roerichs thanked the Kullu district administration and the Russian Embassy in India for their steady help and support, expressed his gratitude to the IRMT management and confidence in the further development of the Roerich Trust. “Today, opening this bust, we see that George Roerich is looking at the Urusvati Institute, whose director and one of the founders he was,” Mr Pavel Zhuravikhin noted. “And I hope that the plans that the Trust has for the development of the Institute will certainly come true.”

The honorable guest at the event was Mrs Deepti Nawal, a famous Indian actress and a writer. She said in her speech that the Roerichs Estate is very dear to her, since her father visited this place in his youth at the invitation of Nicholas Roerich. The actress has described this story in her new book of her childhood memoirs. Mrs Dipti Nawal noted that she never leaves Naggar without visiting the Roerich Trust and sees the Trust developing and getting better year after year.

The installation of the bronze bust of George Roerich at the Urusvati Institute became the final chord in the implementation of the Russian-Indian project to install monuments to all members of the Roerich family on the territory of the IRMT. But the joint work on the development of the Roerich Trust and its transformation into a museum, scientific and cultural center of the international level continues!

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