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posted Mar 26, 2012, 2:30 PM by Maria Walker

In 1935 a great thinker and artist Nikolai Roerich invited the heads of state of the world powers to sign the International Treaty on Protection of Cultural Heritage. This treaty, known as the “Roerich Pact”, established the priority of cultural values over militarism and was signed by all civilized countries of the world.
However, cultural values continue to be destroyed, mostly not in time of war but in peacetime, and not by any enemies of the state but by its own citizens – first and foremost, by businessmen and state bureaucrats. These destructive activities can be described as “peace time vandalism”, which destroys culture for the sake of short-term profit.
The intention to sell England’s oldest film studio, with a rich and glorious tradition of making great movies is another example of this vandalism. People who make such decisions have a narrow outlook, limited intelligence and are callous. They don’t give a damn about the cultural achievements of mankind, seeing no profit in it for themselves.
I would follow Roerich and suggest a total ban on destroying monuments and cultural institutions, regardless of the changing political and economic landscape. This is as bad as poisoning wells or destroying temples. However it happens all the time and often, right before our eyes.
You must stop the people who behave like rhinos. They do not understand the meaning of cultural heritage, the real wealth of civilization, that it must be protected for future generations to avoid their spiritual degradation.
It seems useless to appeal to those who have dollar signs in their eyes. They must be opposed the unity of all those who cherish culture. I add my voice in defence of the studios. Let us do everything in our power to stop the heavy tread of rhinos.

Yuri Mamin
Film Director