Dutch court says Crimean gold must return to Ukraine

17:19, 26 October 2021
Dutch court says Crimean gold must return to Ukraine

The Amsterdam Court of Appeal has ruled that Crimean Gold must go back to Ukraine over a long-term dispute, the court statement said on Tuesday.

In 2013, the four Crimean museums sent the ancient collection "Crimea - Gold, and secrets of the Black Sea" to exhibit in the Netherlands cities of Bonn and Amsterdam. 

The collection consisted of gold Scythian helmets dating back to the 4th Century BC and other pieces from the era when the ancient Greeks colonized the peninsula.

In 2014, Crimea became part of Russia following a referendum that took place amid an armed change of power in Ukraine as the collection remained in the Netherlands. 

The United States and European countries did not recognize the change of jurisdiction of Crimea. Since then, more new packages of sanctions have been gradually introduced against Russia.

The Crimean museums urged the return of the Gold to the peninsula. However, the Amsterdam district court ruled in December 2016, that Crimea Gold belonged to Ukraine and it must be sent to Kyiv. 

The Crimean museums filed a complaint in 2017 as hearings began in 2019. The final court decision was postponed a couple of times and eventually appeared on the court website on October 26. 

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky welcomed the court's ruling: "We always regain what's ours. After the "Scythian gold", we'll return Crimea."

The Russian Culture Ministry said in this regard: ”The decision grossly violates the principles of international exchanges between museums."

"This is a pure manifestation of double standards and disregard for the cultural heritage of the peoples of Crimea," the head of the Central Museum of Tavrida Andrei Malgin added.