According to the Times of India, Indian manufacturer of liquor Hari Khoday has offered 500 acres of his land adjacent to the Roerichs’ house-museum “Tataguni” to the authorities of Bangalore in order to allocate a city dump there. It provoked an immediate reaction in Russia.
The International Committee for the preservation of the Roerich family heritage was established in Moscow. It is headed by famous Russian diplomat, former Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation Alexander Losyukov. He is discreet in his estimates and judgments, as befits a diplomat, but nevertheless he is disturbed. The diplomat reminds that the Roerich family tied its life with India and left a priceless heritage for the world.
“The heritage of the Roerich family includes thousands of unique paintings, and scientific works about the culture of the Indian subcontinent”, Alexander Losyukov noted. “Paintings by Nikolai and Svetoslav Roerich grace famous museums of the world in Russia, the United States, in European countries and, of course, in India, including the Tataguni estate near Bangalore, where Svetoslav Roerich lived for many years with his wife, movie star Devika Rani. We are concerned about news from Bangalore”, he goes on. “And we got in touch with colleagues from the CIS countries, Baltic states, Bulgaria and India, who promote the Roerichs’ ideas about careful attitude to the world culture and protection of monuments in all corners of the world. And judging by the current situation, it was decided, first of all, to create a Committee for the preservation of the Roerichs heritage. Not so long ago, the Indian media imparted news about a shameful offer of one of the former politicians of the state of Karnataka to turn the territory of the Tataguni estate into a trash dump. It faced sharp rejection and outrage on the part of the citizens of the Karnataka state. In 2011, after long litigations with illegal claimants to the estate, the Supreme Court of India delivered a judgment to turn Tataguni into a museum. The head of the Centre of Indian studies of the Institute of Oriental Studies of the Russian Academy of Sciences Dr. Tatyana Shaumyan does not hide her emotions about the news from Bangalore. These initiatives, if one may call them so, are discouraging!”- she exclaims. “For decades the Roerichs’ Tataguni estate attracted well-known figures of culture from India, Russia and many countries of the world. Projects of new Russian-Indian editions and art exhibitions, which were afterwards successfully held in India, Russia and in other countries, were discussed there. The Roerichs’ creativity has glorified Bangalore. Can’t they find another place for a trash dump?!”
“The Roerichs made a valuable contribution to the strengthening of ties between India and Russia”, Dr. Tatyana Shaumyan says. “The Roerichs’ heritage is a cultural value that is cherished in Russia and in India. The necessity of a careful attitude to everything that is connected with the Roerichs was time and again stressed at the interstate level by the leaders of the two countries. Absurd, wild proposals voiced in Bangalore indicate that their authors know nothing about the artistic value of the paintings by Roerichs, about their literary heritage and their scientific works. They are unique! And we must preserve everything that is connected with the Roerichs family for posterity”.
Head of the International Committee for the preservation of the Roerichs heritage created in Moscow, diplomat Alexander Losyukov intends to pay a visit to India, to Bangalore, and to establish cooperation with the authorities of the city, which is with loving care depicted on the canvases of remarkable Russian artist Svetoslav Roerich from the famous Roerich family, closely related to India.