The Amsterdam Court of Appeal ruled the Scythian gold to be the property of Ukraine and ordered to deliver museum exhibits it to Kiev, TASS reports.
Presiding Judge Paulina Hofmeier-Rütten explained that although Scythian gold originated from Crimea, it is part of Ukraine's legacy after the republic became independent in 1991.
Exhibits of the Scythian gold will stay in the Netherlands for at least another three months, during which the judgement could be canceled.
President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky thanked the court for a fair decision and said that after the return of the exhibits he would return Crimea as well.
In turn, Yuri Gempel, the head of the Crimean Parliament Committee on People's Diplomacy and Interethnic Relations, noted that the collection was actually stolen from the Crimean people, but sooner or later the republic would return its cultural values.
In early February 2014, the collection of Scythian gold (over 2,000 items) from four Crimean museums was delivered for an exhibition at the Allard Pearson Museum in Amsterdam. In August 2014, after Crimea became part of Russia, the museum decided not to return the exhibits either to Kiev or the Crimea until a court decision or an agreement between the parties.
Ukraine will decide where to keep the collection of Scythian gold after it receives a court decision, Ukrainian Prime Minister Denis Shmygal said, RIA Novosti reports. According to him, the collection could be put on display at in Sophia Kievskaya national reserve in Kiev.
The Allard Pearson Museum in the Netherlands will temporarily not transfer the Scythian gold collection to anyone until a final court decision on the ownership of the exhibits is made, Yasha Lange, an official representative of the University of Amsterdam, who oversees the activities of the cultural institution, told TASS.
The parties to the dispute can still appeal to the Supreme Court of the Netherlands.
“In the meantime, we will continue to keep these artifacts here,” he concluded.
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