The Court of Appeal of Amsterdam today announced a decision according to which the museum collection of “Scythian gold” belongs to Ukraine and should be returned to our state. While Russia demanded its return to the occupied Crimea. This decision is not entirely final, but everything is a great victory for Ukraine, as the history of “Scythian gold” lasts seven years. More details – on the infographic “Word and deed”.
The story of “Scythian gold” began in the summer of 2013. Then, from the exhibits of the Museum of Historical Values and four museums of the Crimea, this collection was formed, consisting of 584 exhibits worth over one million euros.
The exhibition, originally called “Crimea – Gold and Secrets of the Black Sea”, went to the Reis Museum in Bonn (Germany), and then – to the Allard Pearson Museum in Amsterdam (Netherlands).
The exhibition was brought to Amsterdam in February 2014, when events with the participation of the Russian military were actively developing in Crimea. After the annexation, the question arose – the exhibits should belong to the host state or museums in the Crimea.
In March 2014, Russian Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Sich announced his intention to transfer the collection of “Scythian gold” to the Hermitage. In response to a request from the Netherlands, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine guarantees the return of exhibits to our country.
In May 2014, lawyers from the University of Amsterdam confirmed in a letter of guarantee that the museum collection belongs to Ukraine. Russia has stated that it will regard the non-return of the exhibits to the occupied Crimea as “approved theft.” In September, 22 products from the collection still passed to Ukraine, remained in Amsterdam.
In January 2015, a lawsuit was filed in the Netherlands against a lawsuit filed by Crimean museums demanding the return of “Scythian gold” to them. In a few months, Ukraine has become a part of the process.
It was important that UNESCO considers Crimea the territory of Ukraine, and cultural heritage sites also belong to Ukraine.
The first decision in the case was made on December 14, 2016 by the District Court in Amsterdam: the collection should be returned to Ukraine. The court agreed with Ukraine’s appeal to the UNESCO convention, according to which cultural heritage is a sovereign state. At the same time, Ukraine had to pay more than 100 thousand euros for the storage of the museum’s collection.
In March 2017, representatives of the Crimean museums appealed the court’s decision, and the trial of the appellate court in Amsterdam began only in March last year.
Finally, today, October 26, the Amsterdam Court of Appeal confirmed that all exhibits must be handed over to Ukraine. “Scythian gold” should be stored in the State Historical Museum in Kyiv until the situation in Crimea stabilizes.
Unfortunately, this is not the end of the lawsuits: the case may still go to the Supreme Court of the Netherlands – Russia has already confirmed that it will soon file a cassation appeal.
President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyi commented on the decision of the Court of Appeal in Amsterdam, which decided to return the “Scythian gold” to Ukraine.
The best infographics from Slovo i Dilo analysts every day without extra text – in the telegram channel Photos and maps
Subscribe to our account at Telegramto be the first to support important news and analytics.