Mikhail Mishustin looked at the paintings of Roerich

The tax requires 59 million rubles from the International Center of the Roerichs for paintings donated by the patron of the arts.
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The ICR is in distress: the Federal Tax Service requires the payment of 59 million rubles, which were not paid by the organization as a tax on paintings donated by patrons of art. If the money is not found within the prescribed period, the ICR will face bankruptcy and sale of property.

The International Center of the Roerichs is a public organization known not only in Russia, but also outside its borders, the founder of which is Svyatoslav Roerich himself, who took this step in order to preserve and promote the legacy of his father Nicholas Roerich and other members of his family. In the spring of 2017, the ICR lost its building - previously it was located in the Lopukhins' estate, but the Ministry of Culture decided to place the State Museum of the East there. Now the center is faced with new, equally serious, problems.

Back in 2016, the Federal Tax Service charged organizations with taxes in the amount of 59 million rubles. The center should pay the appropriate amount for the use of Roerich paintings in museum activities. It is worth noting that this is an unprecedented case, because no museum pays taxes for exhibiting works from its funds. In addition, the amount accrued by the tax authorities is completely unaffordable for a public organization.

After the Ministry of Culture seized not only the Roerichs' heritage, but also the property of the ICR, the organization essentially lost the opportunity to realize it and pay off tax arrears at the expense of this money. This may well indicate an intentional entry into bankruptcy, as well as the fact that the Ministry of Culture is interested in this. The tax authority, having made sure that the organization is currently not able to repay such a significant amount, imposed security measures on its property and opened enforcement proceedings to pay off the debt at the expense of the property of the ICR, sending the corresponding document to the bailiffs.

The BFM.RU publication cites the words of the head of tax practice at International Tax Associates, Rustam Vakhitov, who explained why the tax authorities had complaints about the ICR:
“From the point of view of the property tax, which constituted the lion’s share of the additional charges, it follows from the definition that, theoretically, the possibility of exemption from this tax would have existed if these paintings had been registered with the Museum Fund. But for some reason this was not done. That is, the property may not be in state ownership, but at the same time be taken into account in the Museum Fund. That is, it is not a transfer of property into state ownership, it is rather an account. ”

Delay in two months

On January 24, the Moscow Arbitration Court held a meeting at the suit of the Federal Tax Service, according to which the department demands to declare the ICR bankrupt. The Center appealed to the court to postpone the proceedings, and it was accepted. The meeting was postponed until April 2. During this time, the ICR must find 59 million rubles, and then the tax service will go to the settlement agreement.

Thus, the organization has about two months left to collect the necessary amount. Another way to solve the problem may be to search for individuals or organizations willing to provide the center with a guarantee sufficient to pay the debt.

At this stage, about 10 million rubles have been collected, which have been donated by organizations sympathizing with the ICR people. Taking into account the penalties that are accrued daily, it remains to collect another 49.9 million rubles. If the money is not found, the court will begin bankruptcy proceedings of the ICR, and, as a result, the sale of its property, including paintings of the Roerichs, with a hammer. The center itself will be liquidated, and it is very likely that the Ministry of Culture of Russia has been achieving this goal for several years. In this regard, the International Center of the Roerichs appeals to everyone who is not indifferent to the culture of Russia and is ready to help, with a request for financial support, which will prevent the sale of cultural property. This is the only way to prolong the existence of the organization, so that it can continue the return of the Roerichs' heritage, as well as restore the activities of the museum, which was destroyed by the Ministry of Culture. Information on donations can be found on the ICR website.

Ministry of Culture against the ICR

After the director general of the public museum named after N.K. died in 2015 Roerich L.V. Shaposhnikova, who was the executor of the will of Svyatoslav Roerich, the Ministry of Culture, according to the organization, began to make efforts to liquidate the center in order to appropriate the Roerich's legacy. During this time, several events occurred that were quite seriously reflected in the ICR. The Ministry of Culture actually destroyed the museum, seizing its building - the Lopukhins 'estate, and with it the Roerichs' heritage.

March 7-8 at the N.K. Roerich were staffed by the Ministry of Internal Affairs (about sixty people) and the Rosguards, as well as representatives of the Ministry of Culture and the State Museum of the East. The reason for this was the case of "Master Bank", whose President Boris Baker has been helping the organization as a philanthropist for many years. The front door smashed with a sledgehammer, blocked the guard and rushed inside. The building was searched, after which law enforcement officers took out about 200 exhibits from the museum, assigning them the status of evidence. Subsequently, they were transferred to the Museum of the East for safekeeping. At the same time, the Ministry of Culture claims that the department is not related to the March events that occurred in the Lopukhins' estate, and its representatives were at the withdrawal of exhibits only in the role of "experts". As the leadership of the ICR draws attention, not all the pictures donated by the Baker went to the Museum of the East, but works that were not related to the patron were withdrawn, although, according to the official version, the withdrawal was connected with the criminal case initiated against the banker.

After this episode in the press began to appear materials discrediting the activities of the ICR.

April 28-29, 2017 there was a seizure of the Lopukhins' estate. Director of the Museum of the East A.V. Sedov, who was accompanied by security forces in the form of unmarked marks, came to the territory of the ICR on April 28. The entrances were blocked, and the museum staff lost access to their jobs. They did not provide any documents justifying such actions. Private security and police intervened in the situation, but on April 29, the Ministry of Culture and the special militia forces joined in. The estate was seized, and all cultural values, documents and property of the ICR were transferred for safekeeping to the Museum of the East. In this case, no acts of transfer and inventory of the transferred property were not compiled.

Museum named N.K. Roerich was actually destroyed. The unique exposition, which was created for twenty years, has been lost. A part of the museum equipment and exhibits were damaged, which make their subsequent restoration impossible. The ICR emphasizes that they consider the incident a raider seizure.

After that, the department attempted to liquidate the ICR, attributing to the organization the conduct of extremist activity and violation of the requirements of the registering body to amend the organization’s charter. However, these blows could not destroy the ICR, and then the following tool was used - recognition of the organization as bankrupt. At the same time, before the decision of the tax service to pay the tax in the amount of 59 million rubles came into force, the leadership of the Ministry of Culture and the State Museum of the East seized all the property of the ICR. Thus, in this situation we are talking about the forced entry of the organization into a state of bankruptcy.

Letter to mayor

The capture of the Lopukhins' estate and all subsequent events was preceded by a letter from the Minister of Culture Vladimir Medinsky to Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin, dated September 10, 2015. In it, the head of the Ministry of Culture appeals to the metropolitan town governor with a request to transfer the Lopukhins' estate from the property of the city of Moscow to the federal one. The letter notes that the Ministry of Culture intends to “recreate the integrity of the estate complex and place in it the works of N.K. and S.N. Roerichs from federal museums and private collections, so that in the future it would become a “center of cultural attraction for Muscovites and guests of the capital” and become “a place for meetings and scientific discussions” for all Roerichs admirers. Medina draws attention that the plans of the Ministry of Culture regarding the estate correspond to the wishes of Svetoslav Roerich about the placement of the heritage of his family here.

A month later, the estate buildings were transferred to federal ownership. Immediately after that, the Federal Property Management Agency transferred the above objects to the operational management of the Museum of the East so that the State Museum of the Roerichs was established here as its branch. In February 2016, the Ministry of Culture approved the concept of the Museum of the East, according to which a public one should be created in the squares of the public Roerich museum. At the same time, officials were not at all disturbed by the fact that these actions contribute to the apparent destruction of a public organization, and also grossly violate the will of Svyatoslav Roerich, who believed that such a museum could exist only in such a public status.

Nevertheless, as noted in the article of the Vice-President of the ICR A.V. Stetsenko, the center initially understood that the Ministry of Culture is not going to create a state museum of the Roerich family in the Lopukhins' estate, and all the promises of Medina and the leadership of the State Museum of the East, according to which the heritage of the Roerichs transferred to Russia will be collected in this place, are not true . At the moment there is official information that in 2019 the estate is closed for repairs.

According to the media, with reference to the director of the department of museums of the Ministry of Culture, Vladislav Kononov, the object will subsequently be transferred to the joint use of the Oriental Museum and the A.S. Pushkin. Currently, according to the official, the staff of both museums, who lack the exhibition space they have, are working on the concept of collaboration in the premises of the Lopukhins' estate. Kononov warned that the process of placing the above museums there will be delayed for two or three years.

Regarding the situation with the ICR, the former director of the Sakharov Museum and Civic Center Yury Samodurov commented:

“It was the largest non-state museum in our country. It was because, unfortunately, the Ministry of Culture in 2017 began to destroy it and successfully destroyed it. All the pictures, the entire archive, all the materials of the Roerich family were taken out of this museum. They are now stored in the State Museum of Art of the Peoples of the East. But if they are all there, nobody knows. Nobody can see them today either. ”

Museum at ENEA

As for the Roerichs Museum, for it the State Museum of the East will be given a place at the Exhibition of Economic Achievements, although at first such plans, naturally, were not voiced. One more confirmation of the fact that the Ministry of Culture intends to vacate the estate of the estate of the mention of the fact that there once was a public Museum named after N.K. Roerich, was the requirement of the Museum of the East to remove from its territory the memorial and busts dedicated to the Roerichs.

By the way, the second condition for Svyatoslav Roerich when transferring the heritage of his family to Russia was to provide the ICR with the necessary buildings in Moscow, from which he chose the Lopukhins' estate. Thus, the Ministry of Culture violated it.

The question arises: why it was immediately impossible to create a new state museum at the Exhibition of Economic Achievements and at the same time not to touch the Roerich Museum? And why did you need to mislead the mayor of Moscow and the public?

The ICR believes that the leadership of the Ministry of Culture, together with the State Museum of the East, are conducting a focused and systematic struggle against the Roerichs' heritage, and it’s still early to talk about its completion. Representatives of the organization have already appealed for help to the first persons of the state, asking to stop the chaos that is happening against the museum.

The IDC launched the virtual project “Museum that Russia Lost”. On the site you can see the exposition presented in the Lopukhins' estate, which was created thanks to the help of patrons and the public - paintings, books, personal belongings, photographs and archival documents of the Roerich family. In addition, there is a chronicle of the destruction of the museum, which, as noted on the site, can be called one of the biggest crimes against culture.