28 Aug 2023 19:25

Dutch court decision on Scythian gold currently uncontestable - Shvydkoy

MOSCOW. Aug 28 (Interfax) - A ruling by the Supreme Court of the Netherlands regarding a handover of the Scythian gold to Ukraine cannot be disputed in the present circumstances, Russia's Special Presidential Representative for International Cultural Cooperation Mikhail Shvydkoy said.

"I consider that under current conditions, in the current situation, the decision of the Netherlands Supreme Court is very unlikely to be overturned. Though it is clear that we will undertake whatever legal efforts are possible," Shvydkoi told a press conference on Monday.

"All decisions by Dutch courts regarding the Scythian gold are politicized," he said.

Four museums - the Kerch Historical and Cultural Museum-Preserve (now part of the Eastern-Crimean one), the Central Museum of Tavrida, the Bakhchisaray Historical and Cultural Museum-Preserve, and the KHersones Tavrichesky National Reserve - sent an exhibition, entitled "Crimea: Golden Island in the Black Sea," to Bonne in 2013 and later to Amsterdam.

With Crimea becoming part of Russia in 2014, the issue arose as to whom the 2,000-artifact collection should be returned. In a lawsuit against the Dutch Allard Pierson Museum, the Crimean museums demanded that the exhibits be returned to the peninsula; the legal process began.

The final court decision was made on June 9, 2023 when the Dutch Supreme Court sided with the lower ones by ordering the handover of the Scythian gold to Ukraine.