«Soon collapse». Buddhists fear for unique Shrine in the center of Moscow

© RIA Novosti / Anton Skribunova of the Three jewels in the territory of the Lopukhins ‘ estate in Moscow«Soon collapse». Buddhists fear for unique Shrine in the center of Moscow© RIA Novosti / Anton Skripunov

The first capital of the Buddhist ritual structure — the stupa of the Three gems — may soon collapse. This fear not only Buddhists, compassionate citizens and the owner of the facility is the international centre of the Roerichs and the Oriental Museum, on whose territory was the Shrine. In the plight of the stupa came because of a longstanding property dispute. The RIA Novosti correspondent has tried to understand the confusing situation and to answer the question how to keep a cult object.

The conflict near the Kremlin

Once there was the mantra «Om» and committed an unusual for a Russian citizen ceremonies. And all in a matter of minutes walk from the Cathedral of Christ the Savior and the Kremlin. But for three years the Moscow Buddhists do not conduct any ceremonies at the stupa of the Three Jewels. Until 2017, she was the only one in town. For believers this is not just a religious building with a semicircular shape. For them it is literally a Shrine — in the construction of it was laid the relics of two hundred eminent teachers of Buddhism, imported from around the world. Among them the sacred relics of Buddha Kashyapa and Shakyamuni Buddha’s age is over 2.5 thousand years.

«This stupa carries a sacral meaning, so the believers are very worried about her fate,» — said RIA Novosti, first Deputy Chairman of the Council of Moscow community of Buddhists Constantine Jimbinov.

«Well, who is stopping small architectural form?! She’s really small… but precious!», — complains in turn, Muscovite Elena Rogalski.

But if the religious and social point of view, all more or less clear (after all, for the preservation of the stupa), the legal status of the object caused a fierce debate one way or another stakeholders.

The stupa is set on the estate Lopukhins, cultural monument of Federal significance (its owner is the state represented by Rosimushchestvo), where from 1989 to 1991 was occupied by the Soviet Fund of the Roerichs, which the famous Russian artist Svetoslav Roerich bequeathed part of his inheritance. And in 1991 it was replaced by the international centre of the Roerichs, has entered into a lease agreement with the Federal property management Agency.

The Moscow Buddhist community, at whose expense in 2008 was built the first capital of Russia stupa, passed this object as a gift to the Center of the Roerichs, and he designed it as a Museum piece.

«That’s what we were told at the Museum: formally the exhibit belongs to the Center of the Roerichs, how can a Museum East to give permission for a repair that does not belong to him? But then we have every right to repair the object because the owner allowed us to carry out repairs,» says Gambino.

This autumn Moscow among Buddhists, there was information that the management of the Museum of Oriental art is planning to demolish the stupa: from the Center of the Roerichs has demanded to collect from the estate Lopukhins his property, although in the centre claim that it is impossible in principle, especially given the dire condition of the building.

«The stupa is created for the ages. This is not a furniture to move», — says Director Dr. Paul Zhuravichi.

Similar concerns — that the stupa’s carry — sounded from the believers and two years ago. Then come down to the fact that in June 2016 the Supreme Lama of Kalmykia, and Tuva (two of the traditionally Buddhist regions of Russia) appealed to Vladimir Putin.

Meanwhile, the faithful sent a letter to the Ministry of culture, urging the Agency to dialogue on the status of the stupa. Jimbinov assured that the Buddhists don’t want to sue, agreed to «peacefully resolve the situation.»

And the situation, as explained by RIA Novosti in the Ministry, at the moment difficult. Formally a Museum piece, the mortar can’t stand on its place.

«I can give you a similar example. When I worked in the Russian military historical society (RVIA), we caused an avalanche of information, putting a monument to Ivan the terrible in the headquarters of our organization. Legally we installed it as a Museum piece, which is exposed on the street. Sooner or later we got him outta there, since it’s technically not a monument», — explained the Director of the museums Department Ministry of culture of Russia Vladislav Kononov.

In General, according to him, the situation with the Buddhist Shrine «a lot of speculation». However, the official assured that the problem will be found soon along with Buddhists.

«Stupa brings peace of mind, harmony, blessing, and I sincerely hope that the question on its further destiny will be solved in the spirit of respect for the feelings of believers», — said, in turn, Lama Rinpoche.