11 Sep 2019 12:40

Crimean museums provide new documents on 'Scythian gold' to court in Netherlands

SIMFEROPOL. Sept 11 (Interfax) - The documents requested by the Amsterdam Court of Appeals on the "Scythian gold" have been provided by Crimean officials through lawyers, the Tavrida Central Museum in Simferopol told Interfax on Wednesday.

Part of the museum's exhibit remains in the Netherlands.

"These documents confirm the receipt of specific objects and ownership of these objects. We have sent everything that the lawyers requested, it's a permanent process," Andrei Malgin, a historian and director of the museum, said.

According to earlier reports, the Amsterdam Court of Appeals requested additional information on the dispute between Ukraine and the Crimean museums on the "Scythian gold" on July 16. According to the report, a final decision may be given in 6-9 months.

Four Crimean museums - the Kerch Historic-Cultural Reserve (which later became part of Eastern-Crimean Historical and Cultural Museum Preserve), the Central Museum of Tavrida, the Historical, Cultural and Archaeological Museum-Reserve in Bakhchisarai, and the Khersones Tavriysky (Chersonesus) National Reserve - sent a collection, including Scythian gold artifacts, to Bonn in 2013, when Crimea was still part of Ukraine, and later to Amsterdam. The display additionally contained items from a Kyiv museum.

Crimea joined Russia following a local referendum in March 2014. Western countries call Crimea's reconnection with Russia an "annexation."

Since the Netherlands refused to recognize Crimea's reunification with Russia, the question arose of whom the collection should be returned to after the exhibition's closure in August 2014.

The lawsuit against the Dutch Allard Pierson Museum contained a demand for the collection to be returned from the Netherlands to Crimea.

A district court in Amsterdam ruled on December 14, 2016 that the Scythian gold collection should be returned to Kyiv. The Crimean museums filed an appeal on January 16, 2017. The hearing of the case began in the Amsterdam Court of Appeals in March 2019.

The estimated insurance value of the gold is some two million euros, while the real value of the artifacts is much higher, Crimean Culture Minister Arina Novoselskaya said earlier.