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Wednesday 11 September 2019

Crimean Museums Present New Proofs of Scythian Gold Ownership

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SIMFEROPL (TASS) — Crimean museums submitted to the Amsterdam Court of Appeal additional evidence proving their ownership rights to the Scythian gold collection, Director of the Central Museum of Tavrida Andrei Malgin told TASS on Wednesday.

Mikhail Dzhaparidze / TASS)

In mid-July, the court requested the parties to provide further information, particularly on the ownership rights. The court ruled that at the current stage of litigation, the exhibits should remain at the Allard Pierson Museum in Amsterdam. The final judgment is expected in six to nine months’ time.

“Crimean museums submitted additional evidence of ownership of Crimean artefacts from the Scythian gold collection to the Amsterdam-based court, just as they requested”, Malgin said. He said the majority of the documents were acceptance acts and photographs of excavations, conducted most actively during the pre-WWII period and late 1940s. “The number of acts corresponds to the number of exhibits showcased in Amsterdam”, the official said.

According to Malgin, the date of the final verdict in the case is yet to be appointed.

“We still insist that all the artefacts must be returned to where they came from, in other words — to Crimean museums”, he said.

Scythian gold issue
The Scythian gold collection from the Crimean museums was put on view at the Allard Pierson Museum of the University of Amsterdam in February 2014 when Crimea was still part of Ukraine. However, after the peninsula reunited with Russia in March 2014, an uncertainty over the collection arose as both Russia and Ukraine claimed the exhibits. In this regard, the University of Amsterdam suspended the handover until either the dispute is legally resolved or the parties come to terms.

In December 2016, the Amsterdam District Court ruled that the Scythian gold treasures be returned to Ukraine. The Crimean museums filed an appeal against this decision.

The Central Museum of Tavrida, the Kerch Historical and Cultural Preserve, the Bakhchysarai Historical and Cultural Preserve and the Chersonesus Historical and Cultural Preserve are among the museums whose items are being kept in Amsterdam. Items provided for the exhibition by a Kiev museum, were returned to Ukraine in September 2016.

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