The article has been automatically translated into English by Google Translate from Russian and has not been edited.
Переклад цього матеріалу українською мовою з російської було автоматично здійснено сервісом Google Translate, без подальшого редагування тексту.
Bu məqalə Google Translate servisi vasitəsi ilə avtomatik olaraq rus dilindən azərbaycan dilinə tərcümə olunmuşdur. Bundan sonra mətn redaktə edilməmişdir.

The gold of the Scythians taken from the museums of the Crimea will be returned to Kiev: Russia is outraged

The court in Amsterdam ruled to return the Scythian gold from the museums of the Crimea to Ukraine, reports with the BBC

Photo: Shutterstock

The Amsterdam Court of Appeal ruled to return to Ukraine the collection of Scythian gold from the museums of the annexed Crimea, which is now in the Netherlands.

Thus, the court confirmed the previous decision of the District Administrative Court of the capital of the Netherlands on December 14, 2016.

The Scythians are tribes that inhabited the steppes between the Danube and the Don (8th century BC - 4th century AD) and to the east, reaching the Siberian expanses. This is an extremely vast territory, therefore, finds are found in Siberia, and in the Black Sea region, and on the banks of the Dnieper.

The Scythian-Siberian animal style is a special manner of depicting animals in the art of the ancient Scythians. The Scythians made amazingly beautiful items of gold.

Exhibition “Crimea. The Golden Island in the Black Sea ”was held at the Allard Pearson Museum in Amsterdam from February 7 to August 31, 2014 and consisted of exhibits from four Crimean museums and one from Kiev.

“The Amsterdam Court of Appeal ruled that the Allard Pearson Museum should transfer the Scythian gold to the Ukrainian state. Although these museum exhibits are of Crimean origin and, to this extent, can be considered part of the cultural heritage of Crimea, they are also part of the cultural heritage of Ukraine, which has existed as an independent state since 1991, ”said Paulina Hofmeier-Rutten, head of the panel of judges.

After the annexation of the peninsula by Russia, a dispute arose over whether to return the exhibits to Crimea - or to territories controlled by the Ukrainian authorities.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy welcomed the decision to return the gold. “The long-awaited victory of Ukraine in the court of Amsterdam! "Scythian gold" will return to Ukraine, - he wrote on Twitter. - We always get ours back. First, we will return the Scythian gold, and then the Crimea ”.

Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba spoke in the same spirit.

“This is a great victory. We will return to ourselves not just museum exhibits, but part of our national code [...] international law is not fast, but it is inevitable. All Russian fakes, manipulations and attempts to mislead the court have failed. Also, as we returned the "Scythian gold", we will return our people and our occupied territories, "Kuleba told reporters.

Crimean museums lawyer Rob Meier told the press that Crimean museums could appeal to the Supreme Court of the Netherlands. As reported by the TASS agency, this can happen within three months, and during this time, as well as during the further consideration of the appeal in the Supreme Court, the Scythian gold will not yet be transferred to Ukraine, but will remain in the Allard Pearson Museum.

Russia is outraged

The Russian authorities called the decision politicized.

“The entry into force of this decision means a gross violation of the right of the people of Crimea to access their own cultural heritage, which was guaranteed by a number of international legal acts,” said Aleksandr Molokhov, an employee of the Crimea’s Permanent Mission to the President of Russia, to Interfax.

“Unfortunately, this decision did not come as a surprise to us. Nevertheless, of course, I am shocked by this kind of attitude of European justice to the rights, interests and cultural heritage of Crimea. This is a disgusting decision, and I regret it, ”Andrei Malgin, director of the Simferopol Central Museum of Taurida, whose collection is part of the Netherlands, told reporters.

Ukraine won the trial at first instance. Then the Dutch court established that Kiev should return the values ​​on the basis of the 1970 UNESCO convention, according to which cultural heritage belongs to a sovereign state.

In 2017, Crimean museums filed an appeal against this decision.

On the subject: Moscow is outraged by the US decision to classify Russians as a 'homeless' nation

During the previous trial, the court was guided by the fact that Crimea is not a sovereign state and cannot claim its right to objects of art. Thus, the decision on who the artifacts should be returned to should be made by the Ukrainian court after they end up on the territory of Ukraine.

"Improper Claimant"

Photo: Shutterstock

In 2019, before the start of the hearings in the Amsterdam court, the Ministry of Justice of Ukraine said that Crimean museums registered under Russian law were not related to the agreements on the basis of which the values ​​were exhibited in the Netherlands.

“This, in our understanding, is an inappropriate plaintiff, to which we immediately drew the attention of the court. The particular cynicism of the position of the representatives of the so-called Crimean museums is that they rely on Ukrainian legislation in their arguments and believe that it is precisely according to Ukrainian legislation that they have the right to store these objects, ”explained the then Deputy Minister Sergei Petukhov.

Crimean museums, in turn, circulated a statement in which it was noted that there should be no political overtones in the trial.

“We believe that the exhibits, which are an integral part of our collections, should return to their original location - the Crimean Peninsula. Their status and rights are protected by law, ”the museums said in a joint statement.

A dangerous precedent?

The litigation between Ukraine and Russia in relation to 500 pieces of art has been going on for over six years.

Pavel Petrenko, who was the Minister of Justice of Ukraine in 2019, told the Ukrinform agency that the insured value of the exhibits was 10 million euros.

On September 9, 2015, 19 exhibits from the Museum of Historical Treasures on the territory of the Kiev-Pechersk Lavra that participated in the exhibition were returned to Kiev.

The artifacts were taken to Germany and the Netherlands even before the annexation of Crimea - at the end of 2013 - as part of the exhibition “Crimea. Golden Island in the Black Sea ”.

The Allard Pearson Museum in Amsterdam, after the completion of the exhibition in 2014, received requests for the return of exhibits from both Crimean museums and the Ukrainian authorities.

On its website, the museum said that it refused to independently resolve this dispute and sent both parties to court to decide the fate of the exhibition.

Four Crimean museums, which recognized the authority of Moscow (the Central Museum of Tavrida, the Kerch Historical and Cultural Reserve, the Bakhchisarai Historical and Cultural Reserve and the National Reserve "Tavrichesk Chersonesos"), demanded that the jewelry be returned to the peninsula, where it was kept until it was exported to an exhibition in the Netherlands.

Director of the East Crimean Historical and Cultural Museum-Reserve Tatiana Umrikhina in an interview with the Russian edition "Parliamentary Gazette" spoke about the politicization of the process.

“Unfortunately, the case has acquired a pronounced political character, which, of course, puts pressure on the Dutch justice. At the same time, as you understand, these political circumstances play against us, ”she said. Umrikhina also believes that this could create "a dangerous precedent when, for the sake of politics, a valuable collection is taken away from its real owners."

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Ukraine insists that, since the exhibits are part of the Museum Fund of Ukraine, they belong to the Ukrainian state, which has the right to demand their return to Kiev.

Petrenko noted that the exhibits were in Crimean museums on the basis of operational management rights, which cannot be stronger than ownership.

The Netherlands, like the rest of the European Union, does not recognize the legality of Crimea's annexation to Russia.

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