From the correspondence of the chief editor

Office came the response, the Ministry of culture to publish Marichevoy “Theft is a billion dollars: as plundered legacy of the genius of the artist Roerich”. Published it with small cuts in the continuing debate around the heritage of the Roerich.


First of all, the author has mixed up two events, one associated with the Roerich family, but separated by several decades.

The first event was a sad story with the property of famous orientalist Yuri Roerich. After his sudden death in 1960, it has got two sisters, Lyudmila and Iraida Bogdanov, who was on his dependents. Part of that heritage then entered the Institute of Oriental studies of the USSR, the other part was to dispose of the controversial young man Victor Vasilchik married to an elderly Iraida Bogdanova.

In 1988 it was made a will in favor of the Union of the Soviet culture Fund.

After the death of Iraida Bogdanova. in January 2004, her will was not executed and V. Y. Vasilchik became more enthusiastic to dispose of property belonging to it.

Unfortunately, the journalist, talking with the Vice-President of the International centre of the Roerichs (hereinafter, ICR) A.V. Stetsenko, didn’t ask him how the numerous works of Nicholas Roerich and memorabilia of his son Yury Roerich was in ICR before and after the death of the owners of the apartment. Although one of the staff he recalled that “thanks to the efforts of Boris Ilyich [Baker], graced our Foundation [the ICR] is things that is left of the collection looted from the apartment of Yu.N.Roerich. Prior to that, he has repeatedly purchased stolen from there before and brazenly offered to him for big money things. We tried to persuade him to bargain and reduce prices — and sometimes we succeeded”. This phrase allows us to assume that the ICR is using B. I. Baker acquired cultural values, extracted illegal by from the apartment of Yu.N.Roerich.

The second event is a solid solution of the current leadership of the Ministry of culture to create a national Museum of the Roerichs. It is against these objectives on Board of the Ministry in February 2016 was adopted the decision about creation of the Moscow Museum of Roerich as an affiliate of the State Museum of art of the peoples of the East. Now state authorities are doing everything in order not to repeat tragedies of the past with the legacy of Yuri Roerich.

This raises the question of the role of the ICR. This organization has consistently defended its economic interests, declaring the need for the protection of the public Museum by name of N. To.Roerich (in fact this Department in the ICR) from the encroachments of state institutions, the Church and all those who do not share the installation of ICR.

The Creator of the organization L. V. Shaposhnikova was one of the leaders established by decree of the Council of Ministers of the USSR all-Union organization “Soviet Fund of the Roerichs”. In 1990 the delegation of this Fund with the participation of L. V. Shaposhnikova was brought from India, the heritage of the Roerich family, transferred by Svetoslav Roerich for the Soviet Roerichs Foundation (hereinafter — FIS).

Realizing the significance brought after listening to her accusations of the auditing Commission of the Fund in June 1991, L. V. Shaposhnikova have created a new organization, the international centre of the Roerichs. Got the property transferred by Svetoslav Roerich to the Soviet people. In fact, instead of the people cultural values began to dispose of 70 members of the ICR and its Board members.

The court found that the international centre of the Roerichs is not a successor of the Soviet Fund of the Roerichs, is no heir specified in the will of Svetoslav Roerich in favor of the Soviet Fund of the Roerichs.

For many years he occupied a mansion in Central Moscow, which is public property. The state represented by Supervisory bodies has revealed numerous violations in the use of state property and transferred the property complex in the operational management of the State Museum of the East. The legality of this transfer is confirmed by court decisions.

Assessment of the role of Boris I. Baker, a former Chairman of “Master-Bank”, in the fate of the ICR was also undisclosed in the article. Surprisingly, not only he and his wife, and numerous citizens of Russia and from abroad have donated generously paintings of Roerich for many hundreds of millions of rubles in the ICR. What motivated the citizens in their generous impulses — a question for law enforcement agencies. While Boris Ilyich was not only a giver but a member of the Board of ICR. It turns out that he gave the paintings in the controlled organization? After all, B. I. Baker, his wife N. M.Baker, Vice-President of the ICR L. V. Shaposhnikova was the founders of the Charitable Foundation by name of Helena Roerich, an organization which was one of the main sources of formation of monetary funds on the accounts of the ICR.

Revealed another feature of economic life in the ICR. Multimillion-dollar gifts to ICR was never included in the accounting. In the end, the results of the tax audit ICR fines and back taxes totaled about 58 million rubles.

After the withdrawal of the license from “Master-Bank” the leadership of the ICR and a number of Roerich organizations have been actively protect Boris Ilyich. Why? Maybe because they lost a sponsor who, for decades, been doing annual multimillion-dollar infusion of ICR. Maybe because I wanted to represent the Baker in the role of “victim”, diverting attention from its financial operations?

The article gives a strange interpretation of how ICR for decades, attacked state bodies with the purpose to select the state of 282 paintings of the Roerichs. Question about the alleged theft at the State Museum of the East long closed as a result of numerous inspections of law enforcement agencies and the accounts chamber of the Russian Federation in the Museum, and thanks to the detailed analysis of this story in the article by V. E. Chernyavskaya and K. E. Fisher.

It remains to add that the image is “banner of Peace” proposed by Nicholas Roerich as the safeguard of the international symbol of cultural institutions, the ICR was registered as a private trademark.

All these facts are easy to check, numerous inspection acts and judicial decisions it is easy to find and read. Still alive people who were participants in those events, which are written in the investigation.

Vladimir Aristarkhov, Deputy Minister of culture of the Russian Federation.

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