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A Message from President Enkhbayar

 

Nicholas Roerich was one of the great men of the twentieth century, promoting culture, art and knowledge in all that he did. He saw these three as integral aspects of the formula for world peace and higher civilization. Moreover, he personally was an excellent embodiment of the three.

Roerich was an enthusiastic student of Mongolian culture, a great Mongol researcher. We can see this in his paintings and writings. In particular, many of his paintings on the theme of Shambhala, a legendary land often associated with Mongolia, are set within Mongol landscapes that he saw in his travels in the Altai and Gobi. Similarly, his book Altai Himalaya, as well as a large number of his essays, bear testimony to his passion for the Mongolian heritage.

World interest in all things connected with Nicholas Roerich has grown strongly over the past few decades. People all over the planet increasingly are coming to appreciate the depth of his creative genius. Roerich Societies can now be found in dozens of countries around the world, and numerous Roerich museums have been established at the sites where he lived and painted.

The Mongolian government is delighted to be part of this movement. From the time Prof Bira brought attention to the existence of the residence in which the Roerichs lived during their visit to Ulanbaatar in 1926 and 1927, we have supported the idea of saving the house from demolition and seeing it be made into a Roerich Museum for Mongolia.

Mongolias participation in the international Roerich movement is very important. It is important for us, because we should learn to further integrate his three ideals of culture, art and knowledge as keys to human happiness. But it is also important to others that we preserve the memory of what Mongolia meant to Nicholas Roerich, to ensure a more complete picture of the life and works of this great man.

I offer my deepest appreciation to all who assist with this noble project.

N. Enkhbayar,
President of Mongolia,
Ulaanbaatar,
Dec 11, 2008