Government of Himachal Pradesh has taken a strong exception to the news appearing in a section of the press that it has behaved “in a rude and uncivilized manner” in relation to the International Roerich Memorial Trust (IRMT) Naggar, Kullu. In the statement Govt declared that it was not only factually incorrect but was also malicious and appears to have been made intentionally to malign the Government of Himachal Pradesh. Government of Himachal Pradesh has also lodged a formal protest with the Embassy of Russian Federation through Principal Secretary (Language and Culture), a Government Spokesman said here today.

The spokesman clarified that the affairs of the IRMT, Naggar are managed by the IRMT Trust constituted under the Indian Trusts Act and the Government of Himachal Pradesh has nothing to do with the day to day management of the Trust. The decisions regarding the affairs of the Trust are taken by the Board of Trustees (BoT).

The tenure of the Russian Curator had not been extended beyond 31.12.2011 on the recommendation of the Executive Committee (EC) of the IRMT. The competent authority that is the Chairperson of the BoT approved the termination of the Contract of the curator but the present curator chose to act in an irresponsible manner. Rather than harassment of the curator as alleged by the Embassy of Russian Federation, the district administration has acted in an utmost restrained manner keeping in view the friendly Indo-Russian relations.

The Executive Committee of IRMT, Naggar had decided to form an Advisory cum Implementation Committee to implement the MOU signed between International Center of the Roerich (Moscow) and IRMT, Naggar for increased co-operation so that the affairs of IRMT Naggar are managed in a better way.

The Chairman of the BoT has agreed in principle to form a panel with state government officials, Russian representatives and representatives of the Ministry of Culture to oversee the documentation and handing over of the Roerich collection.

An invite has already been extended to the International Centre of the Roerich (ICR) Moscow by the General Secretary IRMT i.e. Principal Secretary (Culture) to cooperate as per the MoU and advise the IRMT to assist in making of inventory and systemization of Museum collections. For this purpose a four-member expert committee from Moscow is visiting the state next month.

It has also been decided to celebrate the anniversary of setting up of the IRMT Naggar in June with Russian and Indian cultural presentations.