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THE MUSEUM’S OPENING DAY
Автор: Кочергина Наталья
October is abounding with especially dear and memorable dates for us: October 5 is Helena Roerich’s memorial day, the 8th of October is the Day of Saint Sergiy Radonezhsky; on October 9, the birthday of Nicholas Roerich, we celebrate the Day of Culture; on October 23, we celebrate Svetoslav Roerich’s birthday. This year we begin to celebrate another date — the 7th of October, the opening day of the Museum of Nicholas Roerich in Novosibirsk. We consider this is an enormous event in the history of culture of the New Epoch.
October 7, 2007
The documents on putting into operation the Museum building were received in September, 2007. Recently, we found a note that was made on August 31, 1997 by Vasili Yefimovich Zhityayev, the co-worker of the Roerich group from Lesnoye: ‘The day is drawing to its close. It’s 20:00 Novosibirsk, Kommunisticheskaya street, 38. Two guys from the Urals, Anatoliy Mikh and Vasili Zhityayev guided by a Siberian, Victor Gutov, took up to the reconstruction works of the Museum of Nicholas Roerich. It was a calm evening of the last summer day. In the clear sky, high in the blue, a light silver trace of the plane was going to the East...
And then, in the morning of September the 1st, the builders came, and the work went its usual way’.
Thus, we know for sure the reconstruction dates of the Museum. The construction has lasted for 10 years.
Preparations for the festive opening ceremony of the Museum have lasted for several months. One of the important tasks was to renew the expositions of all the exhibition halls of the Museum. It should be separately mentioned about the new exhibits, the priceless objects of museum significance that had been gifted to the Museum by Maria Filippovna Drozdova-Chernovolenko, the widow of an artist from Moscow, Viktor Tikhonovich Chernovolenko.
In 1997, delivering her speech at the Roerich Readings Scientific Conference in Novosibirsk, Maria Filippovna gifted the first issue of the magazine ‘Urusvati’ to the SibRO (Siberian Roerich Society) and promised to pass on to the future Museum — its construction then was only beginning — some pictures of Victor Tikhonovich Chernovolenko, as well as the objects that formerly belonged to the Roerich family and were kept by her. Since then Maria Filippovna hasn’t been to Novosibirsk, yet her bond with the SibRO never ceased. When the construction of the Museum was finished, Maria Filippovna passed on the promised gifts to it. As for the objects of museum significance that belonged to the Roerich family, we even couldn’t suppose what will come to our Museum.
The main, absolutely special priceless gift is the summer coat with a hood that belonged to Helena Roerich. There were also some other presents: a chalice for water that was made in Burma and belonged to George Roerich; a handiwork plaid made in Mongolia and which was used by the Roerichs during the Central-Asian expedition; also there was a pass to the tribunes of the Red Square which was written for George Roerich for the May Day parade of 1960.
In her settlement document Maria Filippovna asked to underline the following: ‘The gift is timed for the opening of the Museum of Nicholas Roerich in Novosibirsk — for the 7th of October, 2007. The gift is exclusively the property of the Siberian Roerich Society (the Museum of Nicholas Roerich in Novosibirsk)’.
The summer coat of Helena Roerich in the Museum of Nicholas Roerich
The weather that has settled at the beginning of October was pretty cold, but before the opening day it thawed, the blooming roses revived, and the sun began to peep out.
The first part of the holiday was held in front of the central entrance to the Museum, where the guests have gathered; many of them have come especially for this day from different cities. Everyone was overfilled by a feeling of unusual happiness.
Beginning the festive opening ceremony of the Museum, the executive director of the Siberian Roerich Society Olga Andreyevna Olkhovaya said, ‘The 7th of October 2007 will go down into the chronicles of Culture as the opening day of the Nicholas Roerich Museum that was erected by the efforts of thousands of people of goodwill in the center of Asiatic Russia — in Novosibirsk. We have been approaching to this day for 10 years precisely...
The end of the 20th century. The most difficult times for the country. The Siberian Roerich Society issues an appeal of its leader Natalia Dmitrievna Spirina — all people who are aware of the mighty power of Culture ought to unite and build the Museum of our compatriot Nicholas Roerich. She addressed everyone who could proceed forward and realize that the country’s salvation depended on its each inhabitant.
This appeal resounded as an alarm bell, and it was heard! All the people who responded to the call were united, first of all, by non-indifference to their Motherland, suffering for its present state, and absolute confidence in Russia’s predestined great future. And ‘Russia’, as Nicholas Roerich said, ‘is not a single race, but a unification of races and nations speaking 140 languages’.
It’s impossible to count up the precise number of people who have participated in the construction. Already on its building stage the Museum united people of different nationalities and beliefs who were living in different countries and on different continents. In its creation took part the citizens of Australia, Austria, Germany, Israel, the USA, Switzeland, and representatives of all former Soviet republics. All of them shared the idea of Academician D.S. Likhachov that we will not survive physically if we die spiritually.
Years passed. The kinds of work changed. Only one remained invariable — that was the strife for creation and construction.
And at last the construction of the Cultural center has been completed. Today, in the Museum the friends have gathered — the co-workers of the Roerich Societies, people of kindred spirit, our honorable guests – representatives of State authorities, Cultural workers, and Siberian scientists.
On behalf of the co-workers of the Siberian Roerich Society and our numerous friends we bring our acknowledgements to all people who have responded to this cultural initiative and participated in this construction and helped it. Our kowtow to them all!’
A welcome speech was delivered by the director of the Department of Culture of the Novosibirsk Regional Administration Valeri Arkadievich Brodsky, ‘Indeed, today is a historic day in the cultural biography of our region and our country, because the very fact of appearing a new cultural establishment indeed is rare enough in the last times, and what is more important, of such an institution like a museum devoted to a figure whose cultural, scientific, and philosophic heritage goes far beyond the boundaries of our Russia and has a universal, priceless meaning. I feel great desire to address the words of deepest gratitude to the enthusiasts of this affair. And we really hope that by the efforts of these people in this building there will be carried on a real cause, that cause of which the Roerichs dreamt – that here would be the centre of true beauty and knowledge. Nicholas Roerich was convinced that our country will receive its spiritual support from Siberia, and it seems to me that the introduction of such an institution will be like a high stage for achieving this goal’.
The festive opening ceremony of the Museum included the hoisting of the Banner of Peace. ‘Not only about the cultural values quivers the Banner of Peace,’ Nicholas Roerich wrote. ‘It quivers about the human heart, about the great treasure, that longs for peace and may be this time is approaching.’ ‘Oh the wondrous Banner of Peace!’ Roerich appeals to it. ‘When we’re touching your cloth and glance at your whiteness, we pledge to devote ourselves, our souls and flesh to the worship of the Good... Thus the World will come with the victorious flying of thy whiteness... Then proceed forward and conquer in the name of Love!’
And then, under the triumphant sounds of Beethoven’s ‘Ode to happiness’, the Banner of Peace heaves up into the height. A very exciting and unforgettable moment! From now on The Banner of Peace will be always flying over the Museum.
In the silence that fell over resound the words of Natalia Spirina’s poem that were devoted to the opening day of the Museum. She knew that this day will sure come, and as far back as 2000 she wrote a poem:
Amidst darkness of city you shine like a diamond
Natalia Spirina’s poem is resounding
The cutting of the ribbon has ended the festive ceremony. Guests have entered the Museum, and all of them was given booklets and badges depicting the Museum.
Cutting the ribbon. Left to right: V. Brodsky, V. Scosyrsky, O. Olkhovaya, V. Molodin
The festivities continued on the second floor, at the concert hall. On the ground and the first floors, a video translation of the holiday was organized so that it could be seen by our numerous guests.
Salutatory words and congratulations were being alternated with letters and telegrams that came for this day from different cities and countries.
Full member of the Russian Academy of Sciences delivered his speech on behalf of Siberian Scientists Vyacheslav Ivanovich Molodin, ‘Dear friends! Congratulations on opening this wonderful Museum. It seems to me that for our young city this event is very meaningful, since we aren’t yet spoilt by the abundance of museums and art galleries, and that’s why the appearance of any center like this one can’t be overestimated.
As far as I know, the Museum has been working for several years and the flow of visitor is big. Many kids come here, and this is very important, because when people are staying within the aura of Roerich’s canvases, they will really strive for better in dreams and actions, and this is, perhaps, the main thing.
I’moverfilled by feelings, and it’s even hard to seize everything what I wanted to say’, this is how Vasili Andreyevich Skosyrsky, the head of the City Administration Department appeared in the public. ‘Let’s rejoice together, since the present-day event really destroys the city’s darkness, which is described by Natalia Spirina in her poem — that darkness, which is conquered by the light of spirit. This is a big present for Novosibirsk and the Novosibirsk region before its seventieth anniversary. Let me pass on to you the best regards from the major of the city Vladimir Filippovich Gorodetsky; he has rendered great services to this. I rejoice with you at what has been fulfilled’.
Larissa Vasilievna Fisher, the chief specialist of the City’s Committee for Culture and Arts, said, ‘I would like to address to everyone who is present here with such words: dear co-thinkers! Verily, co-thinkers, and not simply guests and friends. For, strolling along the halls of the museum, observing those who have come, hearing what and how people talk, you understand that here are not merely the people for whom the name of Roerich, his work, and science, disciples are dear – an inexplicable in words aura of unity – the unity of souls, the unity of thoughts and common work. We turned over the exciting issue of the magazine ‘Dawn‘, dedicated to the construction of the Museum. Friends, what strikes the eye is: enormous love by which this magazine was created, and how this construction is described, what epithets are used for those people who have contributed not only their skills, labor, money, but brought the particle of themselves, of their heart, and their soul, their world outlook. Big thanks and low bow to everyone who took part, supported, will collaborate and support this wonderful Museum’.
The Siberian Roerich Society received greetings from the Ministries of Culture of the Russian Federation, the Altai Republic, Ukraine, Kyrgyzstan, and Uzbekistan.
The Minister of Culture and Mass Media of the Russian Federation Alexander Sergeyevich Sokolov sends his sincere congratulations on such a meaningful event in cultural life not only of the Siberian people, but the whole of Russia, and expresses his confidence that the Museum of Nicholas Roerich in Novosibirsk will become a cultural center of universal significance.
E. Milovzorova, Assistant to the Minister
The Ministry of Culture of the Altai Republic expresses sincere gratitude to the Siberian Roerich organization for candor and patriotism to the Roerich family heritage. Your devotion to the ideals of light, good and spirituality helps people to become purer, with deep morals.
Students and teachers of the Altaian studio of boys can’t help waiting to meet again with the co-workers of Your museum.
All the cultural community of the Altai Republic rejoices with you on opening the Museum of Nicholas Roerich.
Minister V. E. Konchev.
Dear workers of the museum!
The Ukrainian Ministry of Culture and Tourism congratulates you on opening the Museum of Roerich. The creation of the museum is a confirmation of the unity of peoples of different nations in the course of preservation and popularization of the world cultural heritage. We wish you success and hope for further cooperation among the museums of our countries.
With respect, Y. Bogutsky, Minister of Culture and Tourism of Ukraine
On behalf of all the workers of the Ministry for Culture and Sports Affairs of the Uzbekistan Republic I am honored to express the most ardent congratulations on completion of the Museum building in Novosibirsk. It is pleasant to mark that in its construction our compatriots also took part, which is a vivid proof of the common character of cultures and true sincerity of our intentions.
Verily, true art has no boundaries and is a bridge connecting different nations. In this sense, it is difficult to overestimate the heritage of the world-known artist-humanist N.K.Roerich who called for improvement of life through unification, friendliness, and just affirmation of true values. His ideas are gaining still more actuality and significance.
We are convinced that fruitful cooperation in the fields of culture, particularly in museum affairs, will develop successfully.
With best wishes, A. Khaidarov, Deputy minister
Tender congratulations on opening the Museum of an outstanding thinker of contemporary life, scientist and artist, literary man and traveler, philosopher and public figure, Nicholas Roerich.
It’s noteworthy that Novosibirsk is the center of the Roerich movement of Siberia. The opening of the first Museum of Nicholas Roerich is a beautiful testimony of this. I hope that the Museum will become a centre of studies and dissemination of N.K. Roerich’s humanistic ideas.
S.A. Raev, Minister of Culture and Information of the Kyrgyz Republic
Evgeni Palladievich Matochkin who had collaborated with Natalia Dmitrievna Spirina for many years in his greeting speech said, ‘Dear friends, we have a wonderful day today: the sun is shining, the roses are blooming, everything is in fragrance, and in this atmosphere the holiday is quite unusual. And the fact that here, near the portrait of Nicholas Roerch, we find the portrait of Natalia D. Spirina, is really very wonderful. Of course, she is here with us and rejoices at what we had dreamed of since 1960s. Each idea has its source, and the source, the first flame of the idea of this Museum, of course, was Natalia Dmitrievna who came here from Harbin.
I can’t help saying about one more source – the Siberian Academy of Sciences and Academician Alexei Pavlovich Okladnikov, one of the founders of the Roerich Readings. The first Readings were held in 1976, at that time when the attitude of the leaders of the country to Roerich was very alert.
And now the Museum is opening. We dreamed a lot with Natalia Dmitrievna and thought about what there would be in it. In my archives I have found the text which was written by Natalia Dmitrievna. It says what themes and directions of activity connected with Roerich’s name we will need. I’m passing on these documents like valuable evidences to the Museum of Roerich’.
On the invitation of the Siberian Roerich Society, Natalia Viktorovna Yermakova, the Head of the Department of Culture of Venyov, a town in the Tula region came to Novosibirsk. The co-workers of the Siberian Roerich organization got acquainted with her in Venyov while gathering the materials for the jubilee conference, devoted to Boris Nikolayevich Abramov. She read the greeting from Alexander Vladimirovich Pugachyov, the Head of the Town Municipality, and passed on the presents from the town of Venyov to the Museum.
Having congratulated the Museum on opening, the Head of the Department of Culture of the Ust-Koksinsky district, the Altai Republic, Olga Pavlovna Simerenko, expressed her acknowledgements to the co-workers of SibRO for their work in Altai and left a present — a handiwork towel-safeguard.
In his speech, the chief editor of the ‘Agni’ Publishing House Oleg Gennadievich Boldyrev (Samara), expressed his confidence that ‘the time will come, when the Roerich Museums will join the Association of museums and will solve the high tasks of culture concertedly’.
Irena Zaleckene, the Chairman of the Lithuanian Roerich Society, began her congratulation with Nicholas Roerich’s words: ‘Then where is that bridge that makes our meetings so friendly? Where is that key that opens our hearts? Where are the wings that carry us in the name of the noblest and the solemnest? The beautiful comes through all bridges. The beautiful unlocks the most difficult bolts. The beautiful weaves the luminous wings and unites the human souls in their strife towards the indivisible Light’.
It’s a big joy to participate in this unusual holiday of beauty. The opening of the Museum of Nicholas Roerich in the spiritual heart of Siberia is a Universal Holiday! Our dreams have come true: we have built a miraculous Museum by our serried hearts and joined hands. It was possible to fulfill this only due to the big love and devotion to our Great Teachers. The fiery leadership of Natalia Dmitriyevna Spirina, the consolidating fire of her spirit and heart has constructed a trustworthy bridge between Lithuan and Siberia. Refined, invisible threads are connecting the Roerich societies of Lithuan and Siberia. This bond is very dear for us. And though we are separated by thousands of kilometers, in our hearts we are always with you, dear friends. So let’s affirm ourselves in the joyfulness of solemn labor, in the joyfulness of cooperation, and apprehension of beauty and culture. Let there always be joy in your hearts!’
Margarita N.Wall from Germany has delivered her salutatory speech on behalf of ‘the Siberians living abroad’: ‘We are building an unprecedented Museum’ — this thrilling line is from Natalia Spirina’s poem. ‘It is ‘unprecedented’, first of all, because of the unusual enthusiasm of its builders. And not only by the quality of its creative work is this Museum ‘unprecedented’. The place of its construction is of no small importance — for the first time in Siberia, in the expanses of Asiatic Russia! Powerful creative and transforming Asian energies have been collaborating with powerful creative energies of the human spirit in common strife...
There’s a desire to tell something special about our unforgettable inspirer, Natalia D. Spirina — something lofty and fiery, penetrated by fiery love towards her. Though, our words won’t be able to express the greatness of this audacious and selfless spirit. We can replace them only by our limitless cordial gratitude to her who has been carrying day and night the burden of responsibility for the builders and the construction of the Unprecedented Museum, the Temple of Beauty’.
Congratulations on opening were sent to the museum by the Chairman of the Presidium of the Siberian Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Academician N. L. Dobretsov, the Museum-Institute of the Roerich family from St.Petersburg, and the Museum-Estate in Isvara, the International Association ‘Pax Cultura’, the Altai State Museum of History, Literature, Arts and Culture ( Barnaul ), the NewYork Roerich Museum, the Odessa Roerich House-Museum, and the co-workers of the numerous Roerich Societies.
On behalf of the New York Roerich Museum Trustees the Siberians were welcomed by its director, Mr. Daniel Entin: This opening is the result of uncounted hours of effort and dedication of many people. One more center in the world, dedicated to the life and work of the Roerichs, an addition to the steadily growing global network of such centers, is a great achievement. In the future, no one will remember the selfless labor that contributed to the development of this museum. But we remember, and the universe remembers. You are all honored in the Great Akashic Ledger. The Nicholas Roerich Museum in Novosibirsk will be witness to many great changes in Russia and in the world, I am sure. Our task is to stay open-hearted and loving, no matter what happens, to work together and support one another. That is not always so easy. But it is our task. We are proud to be affiliated with you. With love and support, Daniel Entin’.
My warm congratulations on opening the Museum of Nicholas Roerich. This event of the third millennium will go down into the history not only of Siberia, but of Russia as well.
Maria Filippovna Drozdova-Chernovolenko, Moscow
Your Museum is opening on the eve of two special days – the Day of Sergiy Radonezhsky and the 133rd Birthday of Nicholas Roerich, after ten years of intensive work, in which so many people who are not indifferent to the fate of Culture and the great heritage took part. May its way be like a reference point of light for many those who sincerely seek for common good! Best regards from the co-workers of the Saint-Petersburg State Museum-Institute of the Roerich family, from the International Charity Fund ‘The Roerich Heritage’, the Roerich Center of the St.Petersburg University, and from all our close and far friends who sincerely share this joy with us!
Alexander Bondarenko, Director of the Roerich family Museum-Institute, St.Petersburg
The public construction of the Museum that has united many people and organizations from different corners of the world is a bright example of Unity in the name of the cultural building of the New World.
Spiritual Culture, true Knowledge, and gradually acquired experience of intercourse will become the stages for mutual consent and understanding. This path isn’t easy nor rapid, but the only right one — the path in the name of Common Good, the way that Helena Roerich wrote about, ‘The efflorescence of Russia is a guarantee of well being and peace of the whole world. The destruction of Russia is the destruction of the whole world... Purified and regenerated on the new principles of wide public cooperation and free cultural building, Russia will become the stronghold of the true world’.
Y. A. Ageshin, Coordinator of the Public Expert Council for Culture, the State Duma Committee of the Russian Federation; E. V. Balashov, President of the Russian Association ‘Pax Cultura’; L. A. Trunina, Executive Secretary of the World Committee for Organization and Promotion of the World Forum on Spiritual Culture.
We are very glad that the building of the Museum has been completed, and we congratulate everyone on this event. May the Museum lead people to true happiness and understanding of beauty, and May all blissful deeds flourish! The most valuable is created by hard work, yet this also gives firmness to the structure.
Let shine the name of the Roerichs!
Gunta Rudzite and the co-workers of the Latvian Roerich Society
The Roerich groups from the Donetsk region, Ukraine, also have sent their warm congratulations to all the co-workers of the SibRO wishing them ‘spiritual happiness, courage of daring, and firm cultural building for the entire Siberian region! This event in Siberia is the victory of the Forces of Light! This is the victory of Your Teacher — Natalia Dmitrievna Spirina! Go forward, dear friends, to new cultural achievements!’
Eugenia Semyonovna Benderskaya is writing on behalf of the Israeli Roerich Society, ‘The festive day that is crowning the years of hard, yet joyous labor has come. Acknowledgements are due to all who have been helping in genuine strife by hand and heart to create your wonderful Museum’.
In their congratulations, a group of friends from Bishkek (Kyrgyzstan) called the Museum of Nicholas Roerich in Novosibirsk ‘the Center of cooperation and collaboration of the entire Eurasia. May the Light of this Ashram shine for many, many years to all those who are looking for paths of Light, Good, and Peace. May the greatest Ascetic Labor of N.D. Spirina, the founder and creator of the Museum of Roerich, light up everyone inextinguishably!’
Valeri Nikolayevich Pershin, a famous mountaineer, has sent his greeting on opening the Museum: ‘The great construction has been completed! The plan of Teachers was realized in Siberian land thanks to everyday ascetic labor of Natalia Dmitrievna Spirina, the founder of the SibRO, its co-workers and helpers. From all parts of Russia small sprays of help and cordial support thronged to Novosibirsk, forming a mighty and uninterrupted steam of Action. The time of the solemn opening ceremony of the Museum of Nicholas Roerich has come!’
At the Institute of Oriental Studies of the Russian Academy of Sciences (Moscow), where George Roerich, a world- known Oriental scholar worked in the late 1950s, nowadays there’s a public center and a lecture hall. Its co-workers are writing, ‘One more cultural institution has widely opened its doors for all. The World of Great Culture has been enriched with one more hospitable House.
We wish the Museum of Nicholas Roerich to carry highly the Banner of Culture hoisted by Roerich. May Harmony, Beauty and high Knowledge, everything that ennobles the human spirit always abide within its walls!
Dear friends, we wish you to shine brightly on the fiery paths of Culture! May there be light for all around us!’
Greetings to the Museum of Nicholas Roerich also came from H.A. Volper, Professor of the Ural State Conservatory (Yekaterinburg), V. Lobach, Director of the Publishing House ‘Stars of Mountains’ (Minsk), the co-workers of the Moscow Branch of the SibRO, G. Clark (Houston, USA), N. Kaganovich (USA), M.P. Chistyakova, the organizer of expositions dedicated to B.N. Abramov at the Venyov Natural Science Museum ( town of Shchukino, Tula region), L.A. Bystryantseva (St.Petersburg), P. Bogusha (Poltava, Ukraine), S.B. Semyonova (Moscow), and many others.
At the presentation of the Honorary Book of Contributions
At the festivities there was represented ‘An Honorary Book of Contributions’. Enumerated on its pages are different organizations and private persons who have contributed to the public construction. The list is very long, and it will be continued.
A film of the SibRO studio was shown to the guests. Entitled ‘You must dream!’ it is devoted to Natalia Dmitrievna Spirina, the initiator and inspirer for the creation of the Museum of Nicholas Roerich in Novosibirsk. The film tells about the dream that was born several decades ago, and how it has been converted into a material form.
The performance of the Novosibirsk Camerata ensemble
The festive opening ceremony ended with a big concert, where the best musicians of Novosibirsk performed. The festivities ended, and the workaday routine began, yet for many days congratulations continued to come to the Museum.
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