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Nicholas Roerich Museum
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Nicholas Roerich Museum
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The Museum of Nickolas Roerich in the old Altai settlement of Verkh-Uymon

THE ALTAI ICON-LAMP

Дом Варфоломея Атаманова. / Varfolomey Atamanov’s house. 1926

Музей Н.К. Рериха в Верх-Уймоне / Nicholas Roerich Museum. Verkhniy Uymon

The Museum of Nickolas Roerich in the old Altai settlement of Verkhniy Uymon.

In 1926 the Central-Asian expedition, arranged by Roerich, arrived at the Altai. By that time the expedition had covered a great distance from India via the Himalayas, Tibet and China to Russia. The artist’s wife and elder son also took part in that expedition.

Roerich as a scientist was interested in the Altai as the centre of Eurasia, as he said, ‘an equal distance from the four oceans’. Here, in the centre of the A ltai, in the most northern point of the Central-Asian mountain range, there is the highest peak of Siberia and the Far East — Belukha. Civilization didn’t change the Altai much and it became a peculiar museum in the open air. Here Roerich studied antiquities, traditions, customs and the history of the great migration of nations.

In Verkhniy Uymon Roerich stayed at an Old Believer Atama­nov’s house.

The expedition became an important event for the villagers. The old residents still keep in memory those wonderful people who had visited this place and studied Altai culture, history and nature. One can say that Roerich revealed the Altai to the whole world. He predicted a great future to the Altai.

‘The Katun is affable. The blue mountains are clear. The Belukha Mountain is white. The flowers are bright and the green herbs and ciders are soothing. Who said that Altai is severe and for­bidding? Whose heart fea­red austere beauty and might?’

On the completion of the Central-Asian Expedition the Roerichs planned to come back to Altai and settle in Verkhniy Uymon. ‘Golden is this locality, in five years I’ll be here,’ said Nicholas Roerich to Uymon dwellers. But his fate decid­ed differently, and Roerich returned to Altai only at the century’s turn.

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