Inetrnational Centre of the Roerichs

2005 – International Scientific and Public Conference
”Roerich’s Pact 70th Anniversary” (October 7–9)

From October 7 to 9, 2005, in the N. Roerich Center-Museum in Moscow, International Scientific and Public Conference dedicated to the 70th anniversary of Roerich’s Pact – the first International Treaty on protection of artistic and scientific institutions and historical monuments took place.

The conference organizers were the International Center of the N. Roerichs, the H. Roerich Charity Foundation, supported by the International League for Protection of Culture, the International Association of World Foundations, the International Humanitarian Foundation “Znaniye” (“Knowledge”), the Russian Academy of Arts, the Russian Cultural Foundation, the All-Russian Society for Protection of Monuments of History and Culture, the Russian Academy of Education, the Russian Academy of Natural Sciences, the K. Tsiolkovsky Russian Academy of Cosmonautics.

More than 450 representatives from regions of Russia, representatives of more than 20 foreign countries: Austria, Belgium, Belarus, Bulgaria, Great Britain, Germany, India, Italy, Spain, Canada, Latvia, Lebanon, Lithuania, Mexico, Netherlands, the USA, Serbia, Ukraine, Finland, Czechia, and others, took part in the conference work. The conference participants included 6 Academicians, 7 Doctors of Sciences, and 13 Candidates of Sciences.

Extracts from reports

L. Shaposhnikova
the First Vice-President of the International Center of the Roerichs,
the N. Roerich Museum General Director,
RANS and TRAC Academician

Roerich’s Pact Urgency in Today’s World

The Living Ethics, philosophy of cosmic reality created by N. and H. Roerichs in collaboration with an anonymous group of Teachers, quite convincingly proves that it is Culture that constitutes one of the most important foundations of the humanity evolution. This idea penetrated all Nicholas Roerich’s creative work, both artistic and philosophic. It was him who tried to bring to at least elementary order the confusion of views existing in respect of Culture.

<…> Identification of civilization and Culture results in a confusion of the underlying notions, in underestimation of the spiritual factor in the history of mankind. Often happening substitution of one notion for the other provides a possibility to impose on Culture untypical for it functions, and to ascribe to civilization something that was absolutely uncharacteristic of the same. It resulted in appearance of myths about “thousand year kingdoms”, “eternally alive teachings”, “proletarian” and “bourgeois” cultures.

<…> Complete deviation of civilization from Culture is a specific feature of the XX century, the century standing on the threshold of new evolutionary changes in the life of the planet. Representing, unlike Culture, perishable, transient matter of human life, civilizations came and passed, appeared and were destroyed, while the eternal spirit of Culture, the carrier of which has always been humanity as a whole, stayed, passed its development cycles through many generations, strengthening the spirit and expanding energetic possibilities for their further evolution.

<…> Machine, technogenic civilization of the XX century, ceases to need philosophy, true art, religion in the real sense of this word. It substitutes for Culture entertainment industry on the bases of which “mass culture” is formed, which is to serve the matter of the society, but by no means to nourish its spirit. It indulges low feelings and instincts of the human body, kills its energetics, interferes with the development of harmony of spirit and matter, making more difficult further evolutionary ascent of man. When we say that the mankind is at a dead end, having flooded the planet with machines, having subdued man to these machines, having caused irreparable damage to the nature of the Earth, and, correspondingly, to man himself, we must understand the reason for all of this. And this reason is the discrepancy between Culture and civilization, belittlement of Culture and extolment of material civilization. Once, due to a number of concrete reasons, the balance which was holding the planet like two wings, was destroyed. It shifted – and everything went wrong. Not within the tideway of evolution regulated by Great Laws of Cosmos, but along a potholed and dusty road leading to a dead end, threatening with energetic catastrophes.

Distortions in the interaction of Culture and civilization which we are observing now, determined another negative phenomenon. Probably, for the first time in the history of mankind, at the juncture of the ХХ and ХХI centuries, the technogenic civilization started to influence Culture, diminishing, and often bringing to nothing its role assigned to it by cosmic evolution and the history of humanity. It is the influence of technogenic civilization on art that resulted in neglect of beauty in some of its trends, loss of the sense of beauty, and formation of all kinds of ugly objects. And of course, the most terrible thing about it is when such creations become a fashion, acquiring wide popularity. Machine forms have entered arts, and music has started to repeat primitive rhythms of working equipment. Now we are observing a new process when the expanded civilization which got hold of human souls in the full sense of this word, starts to destroy Beauty, subtle energetics of creativity, and substitutes for knowledge ignorance based on unrestricted consummation of the modern society.

“Beside governmental resolutions, N. Roerich wrote in relation to the Pact, it is the public opinion that is the first protector of national treasures having world significance”.

He paid special attention to this kind of activity among the Russian people possessing rich cultural heritage. “The Russian people, the artist pointed out, as an heir of glorious future, must become a special protector of Culture”.

<…> But the significance of Culture is still not well understood, still actions causing damage to Culture are undertaken, still urgent is the problem of its protection. Roerich’s Pact not only remains a burning issue, but acquires even acuter character today, requiring solution both at the level of “the powers that be” and at the level of public itself. The Russian authorities do not go into processes taking place in the space of Culture and do not try to comprehend them, but just follow spinelessly the formed in it tendencies. In these authorities’ cultural policy, the above mentioned domination of civilization shows itself clearly enough. The Russian authorities, due to their narrow-mindedness and often just ignorance, and lack of understanding of the role of culture and its significance for the country general development, set forth as priority trends not culture as such, but civilization issues separated from culture. So, the general policy of our “powers that be” is first of all directed at material and social and economic problems. They are not aware that this policy today’s lack of success is caused by the attitude towards culture, which proceeds from the “leftover principle”. At the same time, public opinion which is now being formed in Russia, does not either always pay due attention to the situation in culture. Historically it so happened that comprehension of the essence of culture and the urgent need for its protection is understood by just a few people. There is no clear understanding that renaissance of Russia is first of all related to protection and development of culture. The government’s playing with the so called national idea strikes with its illiteracy, and at times absurdity. All kinds of phenomena are suggested to form this idea, including sports, in particular, football. And none of those “the powers that be” has ever mentioned culture in this connection. A national idea cannot be created in three months <…> It is developed for centuries, and only in this form can serve as a stable uniting factor. What but culture can become such an idea? Its powerful spiritual energetics like a magnet brings together the country’s national interests which are forming its future. <…>

“The history of the Pact, H. Roerich pointed out, is a very instructive book, in which the sides of light and darkness will be very clearly marked, and the peoples will see themselves that all the constructive, all that had a future ahead, supported the Pact ratification and acceptance of the Banner. Indeed, the Banner of Peace is a great touchstone for the humanity mentality”.

G. Daruze
Member of the International Council of Museums under the UNESCO

Public Museum as a Phenomenon of Culture

The N. Roerich International Center-Museum fifteen year work experience, experience of the Cultural Center – the Marina Tsvetayeva Museum, the establishment of which was supported, same as the ICR, by Academician D. Likhachev and the Soviet Cultural Foundation, convincingly confirm the viability of the concept of a museum – cultural center, and the possibility of such centers independent from the state financial existence.

These museums experience shows that a public museum as a form of synthesis of Culture and Enthusiasm is not only an efficient way of cultural heritage protection, but also a source of origination of new public mentality, professional ethics, and horizons of museum future. <…>

Public museums as cultural heritage objects and carriers of cultural values understood in the context of N. Roerich’s culturological views, are still not well enough appreciated and are often subject to discrimination both on the part of the society and on the part of the state judicial and law enforcement bodies. Such museums versatile and useful activities are not studied by museology specialists, are not considered and supported by mass media, rarely interest professional museum community and its institutes.

However, already at the beginning of the XXI century, life imperiously demanded turning to this phenomenon in order to find in the depth of its sources treatment against suffocating standards of technogenic civilization and its rough material essence. Adoption of a document of extreme importance, not only comparable to Roerich’s Pact but also developing the same, testifies to the fact that the time for that has come. I mean the UNESCO international Convention “On Protection of Non-Material Cultural Heritage” passed in October 2003 in Paris. The problems touched upon in this document also found reflection in discussions of the XX General Conference of the International Council of Museums (ICOM) “Museums and Non-Material Heritage” which took place in Seul in 2004.

I see the Convention significance for public museums cultural and social role strengthening in the whole world in the fact that it for the first time at the level of International law formulated and acknowledged the importance of Invisible Values, called in Russian and by N. Roerich spiritual, and recognized the necessity of their protection. It is what the N. Roerich Public Museum and the ICR have been doing for all the 15 years, protecting the great family’s ideas from encroachments of ignorant publishers, interpreters, and privatizers. <…>

A public museum high international estimation is obvious from the Convention preamble which for the first time recognizes in the juridical form that “communities, <…> groups, and, in some cases, individuals, play and important role in creation, protection, preservation, and restoration of non-material cultural heritage, enriching thus the cultural diversity and supporting creativity of man”. <…>

I believe it necessary to once again stress the significance of a public museum, what the N. Roerich Museum in Moscow is, which becomes in the XXI century not only a carrier, protector, and constructor of the very idea of Culture, but its wonderful material implementation as well.

G. Malanitcheva
Honored Worker of Culture of the RF,
Chairman of the Central Council of the All-Russian Public Organization
“All-Russian Society for Protection of Monuments of History and Culture”,
Member of Public Chamber Commission for Matters of
Cultural and Spiritual Heritage Preservation

State, Public Institutes, and Cultural Heritage of Russia: Interaction Experience

In 2006, the All-Russian Society for Protection of Monuments of History and Culture will be 40 years old. I believe that our organization creation was a natural result of Roerich’s Pact – this kind of a bell for all cultured people of the world. The society is to assist the state in securing protection and use of cultural heritage objects. So our striving to do all necessary for close interaction with state structures in this sphere is logical. Unfortunately, this striving for interaction so far mostly remains unilateral: the All-Russian Society for Protection of Monuments of History and Culture and other heritage protection public institutes often encounter lack of understanding and unwillingness to collaborate, inability to listen to and hear specialists’ opinion, and as to the words “public control”, they arouse not only officials’ irritation, but unanimous corporate resistance to public influence. <…>

Interaction and collaboration of the state and society in the cause of cultural heritage protection is an issue of extreme urgency, a simple list of threats to monuments of history and culture testifies to this. The most alarming factors include both unjustified and, in many cases, illegal demolition of historical constructions, new construction in historical territories, emergency state of more than half of cultural heritage real estate objects in historical cities – and all this has acquired mass character. A special problem is substitution of newly created objects for originals. Some major officers and constructors’ slogan – “We shall do better” – becomes more and more dangerous. Those who insist on reconstruction instead of scientific restoration are going to leave a moulage to our successors, imitation of history instead of the original. <…>

The absence of a complex approach to preservation of monuments, preservation of traditional environment and development, gradually results in the loss of the historical look of whole regions, it especially concerns small cities and conservation areas of major megapolises. Archeological heritage despoliation continues <…> The state of wooden architecture monuments is deteriorating. Estate complexes, especially in the countryside are in extremely neglected or emergency state, and the absence of Provision on open-air museums and Provision on reference of lands of cultural heritage objects to lands of historical and cultural destination, results in extremely acute conflicts. Is it not absurd that the lands of Russian Battle Fields – Borodino, Kulikovo, Porokhovskoye – are considered agricultural, and not historical and cultural lands? Sometimes it seems that the battles on those fields have not ceased, open-air museums have to hold the front against cottage construction, erection of industrial objects involving deforestation, etc.

The enumerated problems are especially dangerous because they exist at the background of more and more dominating attitude towards monuments of history and culture exclusively as to objects of property. Officers do not want to think that the historical heritage is the national property preserved for us by our ancestors, and that it belongs to not only today’s, but, primarily, to future generations. <…>

A few words about the system of heritage management.

Firstly, in the Russian Federation, there is no specially authorized executive power body responsible for state protection of monuments as article 10 of the Federal Law “On Protection of Cultural Heritage (Monuments of History and Culture) of the Peoples of the Russian Federation” demands. Presently, the functions of this federal body are divided between the ministry of Culture, the Rosokhancultura (Russian Protection of Culture), and the Federal Agency for Culture and Cinematography (Roscultura (Russian Culture)).

Secondly, no single structure of protecting culture state authorities and lower organizations have been created. Committees for cultural heritage protection only exist in five regions of the Russian Federation.

Our Society Central Council, its regional departments have also a clear position in respect of privatization of monuments of history and culture. The opinion that only privatization can save the heritage is deeply erroneous. We consider monuments transfer to private owners as a possible, but not the only form of cultural heritage objects involvement in business use. We should improve lease relations, should study the experience of other states, which use different forms of property for cultural heritage objects, including trust management. Monuments privatization should be only realized after the mechanism for protection of heritage against possible negative consequences of privatization is elaborated. And we do not even have a Register for today! The fate of organizations which are now located in the monument buildings also arouses special concerns.

<…> It is on the interaction of the state and society that the fate of the heritage passed over to us from the past depends. We are obliged to preserve and multiply it, it is the state’s most important strategic resource, support for his policy, economy, morality. It is the culture that makes the pledge for times continuity.

Т. Knizhnik
Editor in Chief of the iCR Publications Department

H. Roerich’s Personal Contribution into the Banner of Peace Movement

Available to us N. Roerich’s epistolary heritage, letters of the Roerich movement workers, minutes of N. Roerich Museum in New York Board of Directors meetings, and other archive materials, show that Helena Roerich’s participation in the Banner of Peace movement did not only boil down to joint travels around ancient Russian cities with her husband (1903–1904), which are usually considered as the date of birth of Roerich’s project for salvation of treasures of culture, or to Nicholas Roerich’s moral support at all stages of his plan implementation. We can be absolutely sure to state that without her intensive activities, the movement entering the international arena would not have been possible. This statement is supported by at least one fact that, from February 1934 to October 1935, Nicholas Roerich was in the Manchurian expedition, and all business correspondence on the Pact was concentrated in Helena Roerich’s hands. Her personal qualities – outstanding intellect, energy, ability to estimate people – secured a most powerful support for the work.

Helena Roerich’s work on the Pact promotion developed along three principal channels: the European Center under Nicholas Roerich Museum in New York, the N. Roerich Latvian Society, the Permanent Committee for Roerich’s Pact and Banner of Peace in New York.

The European Center under Nicholas Roerich Museum in New York located in Paris. The “contact person” was the Center General Secretary, specialist in International law Georgy Shklyaver (deceased in 1970). He participated in the draft Pact elaboration (1929) and in organization and holding the First and the Second International Conferences for Roerich’s Pact and Banner of Peace (Bruges, 1931, 1932), was responsible for the Pact promotion and propaganda in European countries, business meetings with political figures and influential persons, public opinion formation (publications in press, organization of cultural speeches under the Center, etc.). <…>

On Helena Roerich’s request, G. Shklyaver collected all legal clauses which, from the international law point of view, would allow to officially and legally preserve the Pact complete wording, including the name of its creator – Nicholas Roerich. “As to the inclusion of the Pact Creator’s Name in the text, I understood your instructions quite well. I have inserted a new phrase into the Pact “introductory part” which secures fixation of the Founder’s Name in the text itself. <…> I will prepare a juridical memorandum in this connection. The Pact Creator’s Name has always been especially mentioned in our documents and official correspondence with Ministries and Embassies, and the Pact has always been called “Pacte Roerich”…”.

Unfortunately, despite the efforts of the European Center workers, support of numerous scientific and educational institutions and outstanding figures of the Old World, the “leading nations” state machines kept silent, there was no official reaction to the memorandums.

The N. Roerich Latvian Society. “How wonderful it would be if the Baltic countries were among the first to rise this great Symbol of all the Beautiful, she wrote to K. Stura. – Don’t you think that it would be good to form such a Committee or Committees for passing the Pact in the Baltic countries?” <…> In December 1934, it became finally known that all the three Baltic states had expressed their agreement to ratify the Pact.

However, the Baltic countries could not join the celebration in the White House because they received no official invitation from the USA State Department.

The Permanent Committee for Roerich’s Pact and Banner of Peace in New York (established in 1929, President L. Horch, Honorary Presidents – N. And H. Roerichs) dealt with organizational work related to N. Roerich’s peacekeeping ideas propagation. <…> Implementing in life Roerich’s Pact “at the American stage”, Helena Roerich and her associates had to overcome many difficulties. The main opposition was shown by the State Department of the USA, the leaders of which <…> first perceived the Pact as a private initiative, then tried to remove Nicholas Roerich’s name from the treaty wording. In their argumentation, the State Department representatives referred to the international law, in accordance with which all pacts and treaties do not bear their creators’ names, but are just marked by a corresponding number and the place of their ratification.

<…> Signing the Pact on Protection of Artistic and Scientific Institutions and Historical Monuments took place on April 15, 1935, in the White House in Washington, in presence of representatives of twenty one American states and a group of H. Roerich’s American students especially invited to this historical celebration. <…> In July 1935, the Pact passed mandatory ratification by the USA Senate, however, its further history was tragic, as if illustrating H. Roerich’s statement that “all the great, all the new, all truly evolutionary inevitably arouses the greatest opposition and sneers. After L. Horch’s betrayal who broke his relations with the Roerichs in the second half of 1935, the New York Committee for the Pact and the Banner of Peace (in which Horch acted as the President) ceased its existence. The European Center financing stopped. <…>

In 1945, H. Roerich turned to her American collaborators Z.G. and D. Fosdics with an offer to revive the “forlorn” Committee for the Banner of Peace with a new composition (the Fosdic couple, B. Bolling, J. Weed, C. Campbell, I. Friche, K. and G. Muromtsevs). <…> The Committee work main trends were coverage of the Pact and Banner history, making the so called Inventory of Cultural Treasures (a list of ruined, partially destroyed, and still preserved monuments of culture, supplemented with photographs and explanatory articles), publication of small bulletins dedicated to protection of culture and acquainting with new achievements and cultural centers. <…>

In 1948–1949, Committees for Roerich’s Pact and Banner of Peace acted in Italy, Belgium, Switzerland, France, England, Portugal, Brazil, Columbia, Uruguay, Bolivia, and in Cuba. In August 1948, the Government of India headed by Jawaharlal Nehru made decision on approving Roerich’s Pact. Helena Roerich’s son – Svetoslav Roerich – worked a lot for the sake of that.

<…> Has the Banner of Peace idea reached today that new level of which Helena Roerich wrote? Today, when the madness of Apocalypses is growing, when it seems that there is no way to fall lower? But do not let us hurry with judgments, let us remember the Roerich’s wise warning – one should not even for a minute weaken oneself by the thought that darkness is stronger than Light. One cannot count on understanding of cultural property protection urgency sudden dawning on the humanity. To overcome difficulties, disapproval, and sometimes open opposition of old mentality carriers, many years of strenuous efforts are needed. And those efforts are already bringing their results.

А. Ivanov
Doctor of Philosophy,
Professor of the Altai State Agrarian University

Significance of Shrines in the People’s Life and the Need for Their Protection

The words “shrine, sacred relic, sacred place” conceal another important meaning: sacred relics are carriers of sanctity, grace of the Holy Spirit. Sanctity is blessed with action, energized (derived from energeia (Greek) – action) light of higher levels of being, its energy implementation in some selfless earthly act and in real earthly images. <…>

Hence, a shrine is also a place with a special aura of spiritual height and eternity. People become better and purer there. A sacred place is always a sanctuary as well in this respect – no matter if it is a religious temple in the proper sense of this word, or a “secular sanctuary” where they come to be in contact with true artistic or scientific values. <…>

A shrine is thus a place and at the same time means of transformation of chaos into Cosmos, a sign of victory of love over hatred, beauty over ugliness, sense over senselessness, luciferous essence of things over the maia of the world. <…>

Shrine’s antipodes are fetish and idol, artificially and forcedly imposed on the society as objects of general worship. The whole mass culture and PR technologies rest on artificial production, propagation, and periodic change of idols and fetishes. Using a fetish (a naught thing for which they demand an attitude like towards a sacred object) and using an idol (a common earthly little man to whom they ascribe qualities of a saint or of a hero), masters of dark back-stage have always attempted and are attempting to put into the shade and besmirch real sacred things: to substitute false earthly shine for the natural light of higher worlds; to put popularity in place of spiritual deed in the eyes of a philistine; to make people formally and mechanically imitate their idols instead of creative following high life examples. <…>

“Be able to protect your shrines without insulting the others’ ones” – this is the maxima of truly national being, what is different from narrow-minded nationalism and chauvinism. At that, the following important law is revealed: the most fundamental shrines of one culture never negate or undermine fundamental shrines of other people’s culture or other people’s religious tradition. <…> In shrines and through them, the people honors its great teachers, spiritual leaders and heroes, places of their greatest historical achievements and purifying the soul sufferings. A shrine always has a visible embodiment in the form of a real human image, material object, or historical event related to a certain earthly place and time. <…>

Shrines – already due to the fact that a natural wish to protect them from destruction and forgetfulness appears, direct people to conscious social unification, to cultural creative work, to individual improvement. <…>

In Russia, there have always been shrines without which the people could not imagine their being, and to which it always turned in difficult times as to messengers of another world and sources of power for opposition to darkness. And probably it is today, in the situation of the world general political and economical confusion, world outlook chaos, that restoration of the power of shrines is the most urgent national task.

Marga Kutsarova
Chairman of the Roerich National Society of Bulgaria –
Collective Member of the N. Roerich International Center-Museum,
Lawyer of the Agency of Small and Medium Enterprises
under the Council of Ministers of Bulgaria

Roerich’s Pact – Foundation of the International Legal System for Protection of Cultural Values and Its Future

How to protect cultural values – unconditionally or with a reservation?

Roerich’s Pact – the first international agreement which integrally settles issues of cultural values protection – has made the basis for the cultural values protection modern international legal system. Providing great opportunities for protection of culture, the Pact carries in itself new prospects for the future. Some of those opportunities have been used, and others have been lost. It depends on us how we shall be able to implement the new ideas laid in the Pact in the name of Culture.

<…> Let us compare Roerich’s Pact provisions with the adopted in 1954 Hague Convention on Protection of Cultural Values in Case of an Armed Conflict, and, in particular, the character of protection which those treaties provide for, as well as the objects of protection, those objects registration terms, and the sign of cultural values protection. In the process of analysis, other international legal acts will be considered: Protocol I of 1977 to the Red Cross Geneva Conventions, the Second Additional Protocol of 1999 to the Hague Convention of 1954, and others.

<…> Pursuant to the first clause of article 4 of the Hague Convention of 1954 on Protection of Cultural Values in Case of an Armed Conflict, cultural values must not be an object of hostile actions directed against them and must not be used for purposes which can lead to their destruction or damage. However, right away, this article second clause says: “The obligations specified in clause 1 hereof can only be infringed in the event the military needs urgently require such infringement”.

<…> Roerich’s Pact on Protection of Artistic and Scientific Institutions and Historical Monuments signed in the White House on April 15, 1935 provides for their protection without any reservations. <…>

In this respect, the Hague Convention of 1954 was a step backwards in comparison with Roerich’s Pact. And only half a century later, in 2004, when the Second Protocol to the Hague Convention of 1954 took effect, the level of unconditional protection which Roerich’s Pact provided for as long ago as 1935 was reached!

The List of Protected Cultural Values. Grounds and Procedure for Inclusion in the List

For the 50 years of the Hague Convention existence, only six objects (!) – Vatican and five centers of cultural values storage (in Austria, Holland, and Germany) have been included in the International Register of Cultural Values under special protection.

The Second Protocol to the Hague Convention passed in 1999 created a new system for intensified protection of cultural values having great significance for the humanity, preserving the Hague Convention special protection.

Subject to intensified protection cultural values must be included in a separate list. <…> Decision on inclusion in this list will be made by a Committee established by virtue of the Second Protocol. Comparing the procedure and terms and conditions for inclusion in such list provided for by Roerich’s Pact and the Hague Convention, it can be noted that Roerich’s Pact created a more flexible and corresponding to life system. According to Roerich’s Pact (article 4), the states which have signed the Pact or joined the same, must deliver <…> a list of monuments and institutions which they wish to place under the Pact protection. Thus, unlike the Hague Convention of 1954 and the Second Protocol to it, the Pact provides for introduction into the list all protected by it cultural values, and not only their certain categories. The list is to be made independently by each state being the Pact party, and the Pact does not stipulate any conditions or restrictions for monuments or institutions inclusion in this list.

The convention on preservation of cultural and natural heritage adopted in Paris in 1972 provides for making a list of the World Heritage. This list, which has become quite famous and respected, is meant for use and has legal power in the time of peace. The Hague Convention of 1954 only regulates cultural values protection in the time of international armed conflicts. <…> Pursuant to these two Conventions, we have two lists of cultural heritage – for peacetime and wartime. <…>

Roerich’s Pact which is meant for cultural values protection both in wartime and in peacetime, provides for a single list of protected cultural values. Events of the latest 50 years confirm such approach vitality and correctness.

Protection Objects

Roerich’s Pact places under protection a wider circle of cultural values, including in this notion the following: historical monuments, museums, artistic and cultural institutions, objects used for science (scientific institutions); objects used for education (educational institutions).

It is important to note that the Pact protects movable and immovable cultural values. <…> The Pact protects the personnel of the above cultural, scientific, and educational institutions.

<…> It follows from the first article of the Hague Convention of 1954 that the Convention protects, if we use Roerich’s Pact terminology, historical monuments, museums, and some cultural institutions (major libraries, archive storages, shelters meant for preservation of enumerated in the Convention movable cultural values). <…>. It is obvious from the said Convention article that, unlike Roerich’s Pact, it does not protect:

– scientific institutions (except scientific collections);

– educational institutions;

– persons dealing with creative work – workers of cultural, scientific, and educational institutions.

So, we see that Roerich’s Pact stipulates a much wider circle of protected objects of culture than the Hague Convention of 1954. The Pact is based on an integral approach to definition of cultural values in correspondence with the concept of culture of its initiator Nicholas Roerich.

<…> The Hague Convention of 1954 adopted many extremely important principles and provisions of Roerich’s Pact, however, it to a greater extent followed the track laid by the Hague Conventions of the beginning of the XX century, subordinating the cultural values protection to the military need. That is why in the 70s of the XX century, the Hague Convention showed a lag in comparison with other acts of international humanitarian law, in particular, Protocol 1 of 1977 to the Red Cross Geneva Conventions.

<…> N. Roerich’s idea of establishment of the Banner of Peace Foundation to a certain extent was implemented in life. Convention of 1972 on protection of the world cultural heritage created a Foundation the aim of which was to assist and supplement states’ efforts in the cause of preservation of cultural monuments of world significance. The Second Protocol to the Hague Convention of 1999 also provided for establishment of a Foundation that would assist in cultural values preservation during armed conflicts. But if we remember that Roerich’s Pact provides for protection of all objects of culture, and for protection of workers of artistic, scientific, and educational institutions, if we remember Nicholas Roerich’s words that the Banner of Peace Foundation will support those workers who carry a message of Beauty, message of knowledge into wide masses, then it will become clear that no International Foundation working under the Banner of Peace and having as its aim development of cultures of peoples of the world and national enlightening has been created, and its creation, when it happens, will become a real alternative to the policy pursued today by the International Currency Fund and the World Bank.


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