Indian Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee has ordered to allocate 10 million rupees (approximately $210,000) to establish an infrastructure and restore the Roerich home in Naggar (Kulu valley in the state of Himachal-Pradesh). Vajpayee is honorary president of the Roerich International Memorial Trust Council. A broad programme of the centre's renovation and development was approved last summer. It is aimed at making Nicholas Roerich's estate not only an object of pilgrimage by arts-lovers from India, Russia, and other countries, but also a haunt for painters and scientists from all quarters of the world. Nicholas Roerich (1874-1947) was a Russian painter, archeologist, writer, initiator of the drive to protect cultural memorials. He lived in India from the 1920s. It is planned to re-establish the Roerich Botanical Institute in Naggar. The estate supervisor is to be appointed soon, it will be a Russian scientist. The Russian side hopes, in its turn, to establish an international Roerich studies institute, based on the current arts gallery, and open a museum of Nicholas Roerich's son, Svyatoslav (1904-1993), in the southern estate of Tataguni. Svyatoslav's artistic works are a common cultural heritage of the two peoples - the Russian and the Indian. The Russian Embassy in India is taking an active part in the project and has already raised over 2 million rupees from Russian sponsors. Besides, due to the Embassy's efforts, 437 paintings by Nicholas Roerich and 4.5 tonnes of the family's archives were returned to Moscow in 1991.
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