Video by “The Call of Culture” studio about plans of the Ministry of Culture concerning destruction of the Buddhist stupa, placed on the territory of the Museum named after N.K. Roerich
In June 2008 at the premises of the non-governmental Museum of the International Centre of the Roerichs in Moscow there was held the inauguration of unique structure – the Buddhist Stupa of the Three Jewels. The Stupa was presented to the Roerich Museum as a museum piece dedicated to the 80th Anniversary of the Central Asian Expedition of the Roerichs.
This is the only canonical Buddhist Stupa in the capital of Russia. There are enshrined in the Stupa the relics of two hundred great teachers of Buddhism. Among those are the sacred crystal Ringsel of Buddha Kashyapa and Buddha Shakyamuni, their age is more than two thousand and five hundred years. These and all the other sacred relics – brought here from monasteries of all parts of the world – have turned the Three Jewels Stupa into an object of utmost spiritual and cultural significance. And the Museum named after Nicholas Roerich in Moscow has turned into the centre of Buddhist culture festivals.
In order to worship the Stupa or just to see it, there are Russian and foreign visitors coming here everyday and, of course, Buddhists from all over the world.
In May 2016 a group of functionaries from the State Museum of Oriental Art (Moscow), headed by the deputy director of the said Museum – Tigran Mkrtychev – declared that the Stupa of the Three Jewels is an unauthorized construction and therefore is to be demolished. It is planned to demolish as well the Roerichs’ monuments established at the premises of the non-governmental Centre-Museum.
The demolition is part of the planned – by the first deputy minister of culture of the Russian Federation Vladimir Aristarhov – annihilation of the non-governmental Roerich Museum. In its buildings the Ministry plans to house the state Museum of Oriental Art.
Mr. Aristarhov bluntly writes in his letter to the deputy mayor of Moscow Ms. Sergunina: «I ask you to file an action in court for the demolition of the unauthorized construction and for the termination of the rent contract». Tigran Mkrtychev from the state Museum of Oriental Art has been entrusted with the implementation of this plan.
In all Buddhist countries a stupa is revered as part of the national heritage. The destruction of a stupa with Buddha relics is considered as a particularly heavy transgression resulting in the destruction of the country. Do the Ministry of Culture and the state Museum of Oriental Art understand what their actions mean for the future of Russia?