Crimean hostages: the story of "Scythian gold" dispute

Author : Kateryna Slipchenko

Source : 112 Ukraine

Amsterdam District Court to decide on the "Scythian gold" case, caused by the Russia's annexation of Crimea
14:24, 7 October 2016

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112 Agency

December 14, Amsterdam District Court to decide the "Scythian gold" case. This was reported by First Deputy Minister of Information Policy Emine Dzheppar. She was present at the meeting in Amsterdam on this issue. Currently, there are no more details.

Recall, October 5 at Amsterdam District Court held a hearing on the "Scythian gold", which, after the annexation of Crimea by Russia has left in the Netherlands. The Court heard representatives of Crimean museums, insisting on the need to return the exhibits to the annexed peninsula.

Allard Pierson Museum

Allard Pierson Museum in Amsterdam

The dispute between the Ukraine and the Crimean museums lasts for more than two years.

Related: Museum scandal between Ukraine and the Netherlands

What is "Scythian gold"?

The name "Scythian gold" is highly conditional. In fact, the vast majority of items selected for the exhibition of the Crimean museum are not made of precious metals. Also, not all items are owned by the Scythians. However, this does not diminish its scientific and historical value.

How "Scythian gold" ended up in the Netherlands?

The exhibition "Crimea - the golden island in the Black Sea" first took place in the Rhineland Regional Museum in Bonn, Germany (19 January 2014), and then opened in the Archaeological Museum of Allard Pierson in Amsterdam. It lasted from 7 February to 31 August 2014. The exhibition was formed from the collections of 5 Ukrainian museums and historical and cultural reserves. Exhibits provided Museum of Historical Treasures of Ukraine; National Reserve "Chersonese"; Kerch Historical and Cultural Reserve; Bakhchisaray Historical and Cultural Reserve; Central Museum of Tauris.

Alexej Chuguj

Related: Dutch PM: Netherlands will not ratify EU-Ukraine Association Agreement

The history of the dispute

After the end of the exhibition of 19 objects, including the legendary golden sword and shield, returned to the Museum of Historical Treasures in Kyiv. The rest of the collection, such as 565 exhibits and 2111 items with a total value is about € 1,5 mln were the subject of controversy, as they came from four museums in Crimea, currently annexed by Russia after the start of the exhibition- in March 2014.

Open source

Stucco figures of sheep

Not knowing whom to return cultural property Museum Amsterdam appealed to scientists and lawyers to resolve this legal conflict.

In November 2014, the Crimean museums filed a lawsuit demanding the return of artifacts, and in April 2015, the court approved the request of Ukraine to participate in this process as an interested party.

What items must be back in Ukraine?

Contracts on transfer of exhibits for the exhibition were concluded with organizers of each museum separately but registration permits for their temporary export from Ukraine to this end draw up the relevant state bodies subordinated to the Ministry of Culture. These bodies are responsible for the timely and complete return of the items to Ukraine.

Golden Scythian sward

Related: Queen Maxima of the Netherlands wears Ukrainian embroidered dress

Also according to the Ukrainian legislation all items are owned by the state, so they have to turn back Ukraine. Ukraine consediers Crimean Museum only as custodians of the museum fund, which still belongs to the state. Therefore, the Ministry of Culture demands to return the collection to Kyiv.

Also in the article "Force majeure" of contracts between museums of Ukraine, that in any event the parties are aware that exhibits belong to the national treasure of Ukraine.

 So all museum institutions recognized that museum objects are exhibited in the Allard Pierson Museum exhibition "Crimea - the golden island in the Black Sea" are a national treasure Ukraine.

Related: Ukraine passed to Netherlands paintings stolen in 2005

It should also be noted that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands gave warranties for the return of cultural property to Ukraine.

The clasp in the shape of a dolphin

Recall that none of the international organizations has recognized the annexation of Crimea. UNESCO, an influential international organization that takes care of cultural heritage, has repeatedly stressed that all heritage monuments of Crimea belong to Ukraine.


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