Culture and peace are inseparable

International exhibition titled “Roerich Pact: History and Modernity” was opened at the L.N.Gumilyov Eurasian National University. 

Exhibition project organized by the International Roerich Center in conjunction with the International Committee on Preservation of the Roerich’s heritage is devoted to two dates: the 140th anniversary of birth of the philosopher, artist, scientist and humanist Nicolas Roerich and the upcoming 80th anniversary of the signing of the “International Treaty (Pact) on Protection of Artistic and Scientific institutions and Historic Monuments”, which will be in 2015.
In 2012 and 2013 the Russian Federation presented the exhibition to the UNESCO, in the United Nations Office in Geneva, and Kazakhstan was the first of the CIS countries who accepted it. And the interest is strong everywhere, the exhibition is rich, illustrative and informative: the visitor will see the artist Roerich’s art reproductions, turn the leaves of the scientist’s works, who was also a philosopher and ethnographer. Unique photographs and documents, telling about the movement in the name of preservation of the world cultural heritage will not escape the visitors’ notice.
- It is symbolic that the exhibition is being held at the Eurasian National University, which bears the name of the great Eurasianist Lev Gumilyov, before the 20th anniversary of the speech of President Nursultan Nazarbayev at the M.Lomonosov Moscow State University with the idea of Eurasianism, - said at the opening ceremony President of the International Roerich Center, President of the International Committee on Preservation of the Roerich’s heritage, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary Alexander Lossyukov. - Roerich Pact was initiated and promoted by the scientist Nicholas Roerich for 30 years. It is the first document in the history of the mankind, which laid the foundation of the international humanitarian law in the field of cultural heritage of humanity. Roerich and culture are the concepts, which are inextricably linked, because the idea was that the world, the normal life, well-being of peoples can only be achieved through the promotion of culture.
The Roerich Pact was signed on 15 April 1935 in Washington at the White House in the presence of U.S. President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, the representatives of 21 countries of the Pan American Union. Unfortunately, in Europe this idea was not developed since the Second World War was impending, but did not die, after the war the movement to protect cultural values began. As a result the principles stipulated in the Pact, have become fundamental when creating the key instruments of the UNESCO, and then formed the basis of the 1954 Hague Convention for the Protection of Cultural Property in the Event of Armed Conflict.
AsA mbassador of India to Kazakhstan Mr.Ashok Kumar Sharma, Vice Rector of L.N.Gumilyov ENU Mr.Dikhan Kamzabek, Director of the Museum of Modern Art Nelly Shivrina and other participants of the ceremony noted in their speeches, the exhibition is addressed primarily to the youth. It is the youth who is to carry the ideas of culture, the sublime, touching attitude to it.
“Where there is Culture, there is Peace”, Nicholas Roerich wrote. And, as the Head of the UNESCO Chair, Professor of the ENU Gadilbek Shalakhmetov noted, scientist and humanist’s views are more relevant than ever in these days: President Nursultan Nazarbayev initiated the idea of “Mangilik Yel”, which is based on the timeless values, such as love for your native land, respect for national traditions and national culture. And everyone who visits the exhibition and contacts the touching world of Roerich, pictured in remarkably pure colors, will definitely feel his or her own involvement in preserving such a fragile peace.
By the way, the university received a gift from the Roerich Banner of Peace - the symbol of the Roerich Pact. The exhibition will run until 20 March 2014. The round table on “Cosmizm in the modern world” will be held as part of the opening ceremony; a lot of lectures will be read. 
Marina PARKHOMENKO
Photo by Igor Burgandinov