The decision of the Court of Amsterdam to return the Scythian gold from the Crimean museums to Ukraine is reasonable, due to the artifacts belong to the State of Ukraine. This was stated by Director of the Kremlin museums Elena Gagarina.
“It’s very important to understand that the whole of the Museum Fund is the property of the State, rather than the property of a single museum or any other cultural institution. As for me, in this case, this decision seems to be a well-founded one, when the artifacts were removed from the territory of Ukraine and belonged to Ukraine as a State,” explained Gagarina.
As reported, on December 14 the District Court of Amsterdam determined that the Scythian gold, taken from several Crimean museums, belonged to Ukraine. The Court recognized that Crimea was not a sovereign State and therefore it could not claim the archaeological artifacts as the cultural heritage. The fate of the cultural property will be decided by Ukrainian courts once the property is returned to the territory of Ukraine.
As a reminder, the hearing on the lawsuit of the State of Ukraine to the Allard Pierson Museum to return the so called “Scythian gold” to Ukraine began in the District Court of Amsterdam on October 5, 2016. The artifacts were in the Netherlands after the annexation of Crimea by Russia.
Since February 2014 the exhibits of Crimean museums have been to Amsterdam during the annexation of Crimea by Russia. The Dutch side refused to return the artifacts to the National Museum of History of Ukraine after the end of the exhibition, reasoning the refusal by potential claims of Crimean museums.