The District Court of Amsterdam has determined that the Scythian gold, taken from Crimean museums, belongs to Ukraine.
Reuters reports that the corresponding decision has been announced at the today’s hearing.
The Court has also recognized that Crimea is not a sovereign state and therefore cannot claim archaeological finds as the cultural heritage.
The fate of the cultural property will be decided by Ukrainian courts once they are returned to the territory of Ukraine.
The Court’s decision does not mean that the museum pieces will be immediately returned to Ukraine. According to the Court decision, the Allard Pierson Museum will hold them for three months set forth to appeal.
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.