‘Scythian gold’ collection to remain in the Netherlands until court delivers its final judgment

‘Scythian gold’ collection to remain in the Netherlands until court delivers its final judgment

The Amsterdam Court of Appeal has postponed delivery of a final judgment in the "Scythian gold" case.

"The Amsterdam Court of Appeal has rendered an interim judgment today. It has decided as follows: The Allard Pierson Museum (APM) is entitled to withhold the Crimean treasures until the matter has been finally decided in court; The Dutch Heritage Act does not apply in this matter; The Court of Appeal needs further information from the parties regarding the ownership claimed by the Ukrainian State and the right of ‘operational management’ claimed by the Crimean museums," reads the interim judgment published on the Court’s website.

As noted, the parties have been given two months to provide the requested information and, subsequently, the court will examine the case further.

“A final judgment may be expected in 6 to 9 months’ time,” the judgment says.

The Court of Appeal has ruled that the Allard Pearson Museum, in view of the complex situation in Crimea, “could reasonably not assess which party was entitled to claim the Crimean treasures.”

“In the meantime, the APM has properly kept the Crimean treasures in storage awaiting the outcome of the proceedings. In view of all this, the APM was entitled to suspend its obligation to return the Crimean treasures pending a final decision,” the judgment emphasizes.

As reported, in March, the Amsterdam Court of Appeal stated it would deliver the judgment in the case of the return of the Scythian gold collection to Ukraine on June 11, 2019, but then it became known that the judgment would be delivered on July 16. On March 11, the Amsterdam Court of Appeal started to consider an appeal in the case of the return of the "Scythian gold" collection to Ukraine. The collection of Scythian gold had been delivered to the Allard Pearson Museum in Amsterdam as part of the exhibition entitled “Crimea – the Gold and Secrets of the Black Sea” prior to the illegal annexation of Crimea by the Russian Federation.

On December 14, 2016, the Amsterdam District Court ruled that the exhibits of the Crimean museums had to be returned to Ukraine.

The judgment was delivered on the basis of the UNESCO convention, according to which art treasures should be returned to the sovereign state, which provided them for temporary display.

On March 28, 2017, the Amsterdam Court of Appeal received an appeal against the ruling from the representatives of Crimean museums.

Currently, the "Scythian gold" collection is kept in the Allard Pearson Museum in Amsterdam.


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