Dutch appeals court awards Scythian Gold collection to Ukraine

Dutch appeals court awards Scythian Gold collection to Ukraine

The Amsterdam Court of Appeal has ruled that the Scythian Gold collection should be handed over to Ukraine, Presiding Judge Pauline Hofmeijer-Rutten announced on Tuesday.

"The Amsterdam Court of Appeal has ruled that the Allard Pierson Museum has to hand over the 'Crimean Treasures' to the Ukrainian State," she said, adding that the artifacts are "part of the cultural heritage of the Ukrainian State" and "belong to the public part of the State Museum Fund of Ukraine."

The court also said that the Allard Pierson Museum's "obligation to return the museum pieces to the Crimean museums has ended."

The Scythian Gold collection of over 2,000 items was on view at the Allard Pierson Museum of the University of Amsterdam between February and August 2014. After the peninsula reunited with Russia in March 2014, uncertainty over the collection arose as both Russia and Ukraine claimed the exhibits. In this regard, the University of Amsterdam suspended the collection’s 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 based on Dutch laws and international regulations. In March 2017, Crimea’s museums filed an appeal against the decision. In March 2019, the Amsterdam Court of Appeal reversed the district court’s decision but postponed a verdict in the case, requesting the parties to provide additional documents.

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