14:25 17.07.2019

Sides in 'Scythian gold' case must present additional explanations in Sept 2019 – Ukraine's Justice Ministry

2 min read
Sides in 'Scythian gold' case must present additional explanations in Sept 2019 – Ukraine's Justice Ministry

Ukraine's Justice Ministry has said that in September 2019 parties must provide additional explanations in support of their position on the dispute between Ukraine and museums of Russia-occupied Crimea in the so-called "Scythian gold case."

"Today, the Court of Appeal of Amsterdam issued a ruling that recognized that the provisions of the UNESCO Convention on measures aimed at prohibiting and preventing the illegal importation, exportation and transfer of ownership of cultural property of 1970 are not applicable. And that Ukrainian law should be used to decide where the collection should be returned to," Ukraine's Justice Ministry said.

The court also confirmed that the Kingdom of the Netherlands does not recognize the annexation of Crimea, and therefore the court cannot recognize the annexation.

The ministry said the parties must provide additional explanations in support of their position when court hearings resume in September 2019.

"This court case is one of the components of the hybrid war that the Russian authorities have unleashed against our state," the ministry said in a statement, citing Justice Minister Pavlo Petrenko.

As reported, the case involves artifacts from the exhibit 'Crimea – the Golden Island in the Black Sea' from the collections of four Crimean museums – the Historic-Cultural Reserve in Kerch, the Taurida Central Museum, the Historic-Cultural Reserve in Bakhchisarai and the Khersonesus Tavrichesky National Reserve – began in a court of appeals in Amsterdam on Monday, March 11.

According to Ukraine's Justice Minister Pavlo Petrenko, there are more than 565 museum items from Ukrainian museums in Crimea in the territory of the Kingdom of the Netherlands. They are mostly archaeological finds. The insured value of the collection is EUR 10 million.

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

In their lawsuit against the Allard Pierson Museum, the Crimean museums sought the return of the "Scythian gold" collection, which comprised 2,000 objects, from the Netherlands to Crimea.

On December 14, 2016, a district court in Amsterdam ruled in Ukraine's favor. On January 16, 2017, the four Crimean museums appealed the decision made by the Amsterdam district court.

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