June 15, 2024

Athens News

News in English from Greece

Return "Scythian gold" to Ukraine

The National Museum of the History of Ukraine received artifacts sent by the Allard Pearson Museum from four museums in Crimea, previously presented at the exhibition “Crimea: Gold and Secrets of the Black Sea” and stored in the Netherlands for almost 10 years.

The museum reported this:

“Treasures of Crimea returned to Ukraine from the Netherlands! After almost 10 years of trials, artifacts from four museums in Crimea returned to Ukraine.”

General Director National Museum of the History of Ukraine Fyodor Androshchuk noted that the institute will make every effort to preserve the returned valuables:

“During legal disputes, our museum was determined as a place for storing the collections of Crimean museums. For its part, the museum will make every effort to preserve them and to ensure that citizens and guests of Ukraine can see them.”

He noted that since the fate of the collection has acquired an international political resonance, its condition is now under the close attention of the world:

“This, in turn, places responsibility on everyone who was behind the political decision to return the collection to warring Ukraine. They must provide it with unprecedented protection, as well as appropriate economic support for the National Museum of the History of Ukraine.”

The museum clarified: we are talking about the return of 565 objects – these are antique sculptures, Scythian and Sarmatian jewelry, Chinese lacquer boxes that are two thousand years old. In November, they all underwent independent inspection, then they were carefully packed in accordance with museum rules and transported to Kyiv.

The State Customs Service of Ukraine reported that it had begun customs clearance of “Scythian gold” and shared a video of a truck with gold entering the territory of the Kiev Pechersk Lavra:

“Currently, a truck with 2.7 tons of cultural property, known as “Scythian gold,” has entered the territory of the Kiev Pechersk Lavra, where customs officers will make their identification in the Treasury of the National Museum of Ukraine.”

In 2013, the Bonn State Museum LVR-Landes opened the exhibition “Crimea: Gold and Secrets of the Black Sea” (De Krim. Goud en geheimen van de Zwarte Zee). It was created by the Ukrainian Institute of Archeology of the National Academy of Sciences in collaboration with the Institute of Ancient History of the University of Bonn. The capital’s Museum of the History of Ukraine and four Crimean museums presented their collections for the exhibition: the Tauride Chersonese National Reserve (Sevastopol), the Central Museum of Taurida (Simferopol), the Bakhchisarai Historical and Cultural Reserve and the Kerch Historical and Archaeological Reserve.

In January 2014, the exhibits were packed and transported from Bonn to Amsterdam, to the private Allard Pearson Museum, where the treasures were displayed from February to August 2014. In February 2014, Russia began its occupation of Crimea. And while objects from the collection of the National Museum of the History of Ukraine returned to Kiev after the exhibition was completed, the question arose regarding the values ​​from Crimean museums: where to send the exhibits – to Kiev or to occupied Crimea.

In December 2016, a court in Amsterdam decided to transfer the Crimean treasures to Ukraine, in accordance with the Inheritance Law. However, Crimean museums under Russian occupation began the process of appealing the decision. The Amsterdam Court of Appeal also decided to satisfy the claim for the transfer of Crimean artifacts to the state of Ukraine.

The final decision was made by the Supreme Court of the Netherlands on June 9, 2023. He rejected the cassation appeal of the Crimean museums, and upheld the appeal decision. According to this decision, Ukraine had to pay the Allard Pearson Museum 111,689 euros with interest accrued for the entire period of preservation of the collections of the Crimean museums. It is worth noting that last week the Allard Pearson Museum canceled Ukraine’s debt for storing “Scythian gold” since 2014.

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